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Turkey unveils two new AAMs

Photo: The Merlin beyond-visual-range (BVR) AAM. Alan Warnes


Two new Turkish air-to-air missiles (AAMs) were unveiled on the first day of the International Defence Exhibition Fair (IDEF).  The exhibition, which is taking place in Istanbul from May 9-12, is subject to unprecedented security, due to the situation in the country.

Almost immediately after the opening ceremony, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visited the Tübitak SAGE (Defence Industry Research and Development Institute) to unveil the Peregrine within-visual-range (WVR) and Merlin beyond-visual-range (BVR) AAMs.  They are the first weapons in these classes to be developed by Turkish industry, as it works to design and build a new Turkish fighter (TF-X) well into the next decade.

Both missiles have been under development since 2012 as part of Project Goktug, according to the Tübitak Director, Erdal Cakmak.  He indicated that both missiles should be integrated and test-fired within the next two years.

According to one source AFM spoke to, the Peregrine (Gokdogan) has a range of 30km (20 miles) while the larger Merlin (Bozdogan) has a range of around 65km (40 miles).  Both are currently at their design stage, but Mr Cakmak said ‘it was an appropriate time to show them off’.  Alan Warnes

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