MoND: The First Step Taken for SIPER – the National Long-Range Air Defence and Missile System Project

Tarih: Issue 90 - February 2019

The Department of Public Relations of the Ministry of National Defence (MoND) organized an information meeting regarding events that have occurred in 2018 as well as those that have transpired since the beginning of this year. 

In the meeting held at the Ministry, Lt. Commander Nadide Şebnem AKTOP stated regarding air defence systems, “The air defence system is not a choice but a necessity for our country, which is exposed to significant air and missile threats. With the procurement of S-400 systems from the Russian Federation, our country will be acquiring an important air defence capability. Our efforts which we initiated in order to develop our own national systems through technology transfer and joint production are being carried out by our allies EUROSAM, which is a partnership between Italy and France. In regard to the Patriots, the negotiations within the scope of the proposal submitted by the United States still continue by the Presidency of Defence Industries.”

Lt. Commander AKTOP also stated that they have taken the first step in the indigenous and national long-range air and missile defence system project dubbed as SİPER.

Enhanced Long Range Area Air and Missile Defence System [GUMS] Project was launched in 2016 by the SSB to meet the Turkish Air Force [TurAF]’s long range air and missile defence requirement via locally designed and manufactured, indigenous solutions. Aselsan has been tasked as Prime Contractor to cooperate with Roketsan and TÜBİTAK SAGE, main local subcontractors. The indigenous Enhanced Long-Range Area Air and Missile Defence System to be developed under the GUMS Project is dubbed the SİPER/HİSAR-U, which will be an original system with state-of-the-art military capability designed to counter the most challenging threats and slated to reach fruition in the mid-2020s. According to sources HİSAR-U will be equipped with Ka-Band RF seeker and would be able to intercept incoming ballistic missiles at 30 km and over altitudes with hit-to-kill concept/capability.

According to the Turkish MoND the SİPER/HISAR-U long-range air defence missiles can only be used against air breathing targets including fighter jets, UAVs and cruise missiles and will have an effective range of 70-90km.

Relaying information also on the delivery process of F-35 aircraft and on the training of instructor pilots, Lt. Commander AKTOP said, “We received the delivery of the first two F-35 aircraft on June 21, 2018. Instructor pilot and maintenance staff training continues in the US. A total of 4 aircraft, with 2 aircraft to be delivered in March 2019 will remain in the US until the end of 2020 for instructor pilots / maintenances training. The 5th and 6th aircraft will be delivered to Malatya on November 30, 2019.”

National F-35 Integrated Training Center (ITC) will be Operational in 2020

Within scope of the F-35 procurement program, the first Turkish F-35 aircraft with the tail number of 18-0001 on June 21, the second aircraft with flight number of 18-0002 was delivered to the Turkish Air Force on June 22, 2018. The first two delivered aircraft are planned to stay in the United States until end of the year 2020, and then to be deployed to the air training base of the 172th fleet in Malatya, which is currently under construction and will be fully operational in the last quarter of 2019 following accreditation processes.

As the first main Operating Base of the TurAF F-35As, in addition to the 172nd and 171st Squadrons, the 7th MJB will host the National F-35 Integrated Training Center (ITC), where TurAF pilots and maintainers will perform training. The F-35 Integrated Training Center to be constructed in Malatya will be similar to Luke Air Base in Arizona, United States. New buildings/facilities are under construction at the 7th MJB to accommodate the F-35A aircraft include; new Hardened Aircraft Shelters (HASs) and hangars, underground pens, Squadron and Headquarter buildings, mess halls, guest houses, maintenance facilities, depots, heating plant, sport facilities, taxi ways, concrete pavements and a National F-35 ITC building. The training of Turkish Air Forces pilots and maintainers as well as pilot and maintainers training of F-35 user countries especially in Europe are planned to be conducted at this facility.

The third (AT-3) and fourth (AT-4) F-35A aircraft of the Turkish Air Forces, which are under production phase at Lockheed Martin facilities, are scheduled to be delivered to the Turkish authorities in March 2019. It is stated that the third and fourth aircraft will also stay at Luke Air base in Arizona by the end of the year 2020. The fifth and sixth aircraft, which are planned to be delivered in November 2019, are expected to be deployed to the air training base of the 172th fleet in Malatya immediately after the delivery ceremony.