First Air Launch Test BOZDOĞAN WVR Air-to-Air Missile Destroyed Target

On April 14, 2021, President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN announced that the BOZDOĞAN IIR guided within visual range (WVR) air-to-air missile developed by youth Turkish technicians and engineers under the GÖKTUĞ Project has successfully destroyed its target (TUSAŞ`s ŞİMŞEK high-Speed target Drone) during its first air launch test. “Turkey has managed to become one of the few countries having air-to-air missile technology,” ERDOĞAN wrote on his personal Twitter page. President ERDOĞAN also shared a short video of BOZDOĞAN`s first air launch test.

Tarih: Issue 106 - May 2021

The first air launch test of the BOZDOĞAN was carried out on April 7, 2021 with the participation of a total of 4 F-16C/D fighter jets (at least one of them was fitted with a SNIPER Targeting Pod to record the air launch) from the Turkish Air Force (TurAF)’s 401st Test Squadron Command and a KC-135R tanker aircraft from the 10th Tanker Base Command at the Sinop Missile Test Range located in the Black Sea province of Sinop in northern Turkey. The first air launch of the BOZDOĞAN missile was monitored live by test measurement equipment at the Sinop Missile Test Range (such as radar systems and high-speed cameras that can measure the missile's trajectory and speed) and by accompanying 3 F-16s (at least one of them was fitted with a SNIPER Targeting Pod). According to the video, the BOZDOĞAN missile was able to lock on its target before launch at an estimated distance of 15km and performed a direct hit to the ŞİMŞEK Targeting Drone at 5-8 km. Prior to the live firing test, Turkey declared a NAVTEX on April 5, 2021, for shooting training to be performed in the Black Sea during April 10-18, 2021.

BOZDOĞAN, along with GÖKDOĞAN, another indigenous air-to-air missile with active RF seeker and beyond visual range engagement capability are being developed under the GÖKTUĞ Project run by TÜBİTAK-SAGE (The Defense Industries Research and Development Institute) since 2013. The GÖKDOĞAN and BOZDOĞAN missiles were unveiled during the 13th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF '17) held in Istanbul in May 2017 and are expected to be ready for serial production in 2022 and 2023, respectively. The Serial Production Phase is expected to be carried out by Roketsan. The short-range air-to-air missile BOZDOĞAN (Merlin) will replace the AIM-9 series Sidewinder missiles in the future. The other missile, GÖKDOĞAN (Peregrine), beyond visual range air-to-air missile, is aimed to replace AIM-120B AMRAAM missiles.