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The top 7 latest Turkish defence breakthroughs you need to know about

02 Nov 2018 TRT World

Revealing the latest Turkish defence industry achievements yesterday, Turkish President Erdogan surprised the world with major developments.

1)  Long-Range Missile Defense System (SIPER) delivery by 2021

In a surprising twist, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey would look to domestically produce a long-range missile defence system.

This development comes after the United States Congress moved to block the sale of next-generation F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, in a reaction to Turkey's move to procure the Russian S400 missile system. 

The US has also consistently turned down Turkish attempts to procure the MQ-9 Reaper drone and Patriot missile systems. 

"As long as we remain only a user of technology, we cannot guarantee our freedom in any area," said President Erdogan only a month before the breaking announcement.

2) Hypersonic Electromagnetic Railgun (SAPAN)

The railgun is expected to eventually reach ranges of 100 KM or more and can be used as a stand-alone cannon to intercept ships, fighter jets or ballistic missiles. It can also be mounted on ships and transports easily. 

Travelling at faster than Mach 7.5, the high-density metal round is boosted along an electromagnetically charged railway, and can reach speeds of up to Mach 8.5  (2,520 m/s), or seven times the speed of sound, making it incredibly difficult to defend or intercept. 

Because the high density metal round carries no electronic components, it is optimised for stealth and cannot be countered using electronic warfare means, or jamming.

Turkey's SAPAN makes it the third country after the United States and China to develop an operational rail-gun.

In the live test, the railgun performed successfully, penetrating a 1 meter reinforced bunker. It is expected to undergo further development, given its strategic value. 

3)  Precision Laser Cannon

In a live test, the Laser gun hit a 3-millimetre target from 1.5 kilometres away. The laser gun is expected to be used in anti-aircraft defence platforms, and eventually in an anti-armour offensive capacity. 

4) Tank Laser Active Defence System (PULAT)

PULAT is designed to provide 360-degree protection against guided and unguided anti-tank missiles. It can also be used offensively. 

The system is designed to operate in difficult environments and uses a radar to automatically eliminate incoming projectiles through dust, mud, snow and rain.

It can also be integrated into larger battlespace command networks, for faster reaction times.

5) A New Optical Systems Research Laboratory (OPMER) 

Turkey is set to establish its first optical research laboratory under   TUBITAK's Space Technologies Research Institute. 

"Thanks to the OPMER project we can now develop optical components which require precision technology with our own capabilities," President Erdogan said.

The laboratory is set to push the cutting edge on satellite technology, rangefinders and targeting technology, and fine optical instrumentation necessary for advanced technology manufacturing.

6) 'Mystery' Unmanned Aerial Combat Drone

Promising a new revelation in mid-2019, President Erdogan chose not to offer details on the upcoming drone project. He also commented on the use of over 65 indigenous defence products in the Turkish armed forces, up from 20 last year. 

But these are only recent breakthroughs. Turkey's Altay Main Battle Tank is set to enter mass production in 2019. 

The Altay is equipped with a 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun, putting it in the top tier for tank accuracy. The tank also has a 7.62mm machine gun mounted to the right of its main gun, and an additional 12.7mm heavy machine gun on its turret. Using a 1800 horsepower engine, the Altay has a maximum speed of 70 km/h and can manoeuvre underwater at a depth of 4.1 meters.

The tank's armour is a modular reactive composite, that can be easily replaced, reducing repair times, while also reacting with chemical outward force against incoming projectiles. The tank is designed to resist chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) attacks.

Source: TRT World

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