Turkey will seek to produce its own national supersonic and hypersonic missiles, a senior Turkish defense industry official announced in an interview with our Turkish affiliate SavunmaSanayiST.com.
“In the RAMJET project, we will reveal the first working engine this year and will have taken technological readiness level up. We are at an earlier stage at ScramJet and we have a project running at the conceptual level. This process is supported by doctoral studies.
Our High Speed Wind Tunnel investment continues. Our wind tunnel will be trisonic. We will be able to perform tests at subsonic, supersonic and transonic speeds. Currently, we call it “TUBITAK-SAGE Trisonic Tunnel (TSTT). Our goal is to start blowing the first tests in 2023 and to start operating as an official and commercial test in 2024.
As the fruit of all these efforts, our next step will be in high supersonic and hypersonic systems. Infrastructure is getting to the level we want and hypersonic missiles will be our main focus from now on,” Gürcan Okumus, Director of TUBITAK-SAGE (Turkish Defense Industries Research and Development Institute) revealed.
Missiles such as SOM and ATMACA developed by Turkey cruise at high subsonic speed (High-Subsonic). Turkey does not have an air/surface-to-surface missile with Supersonic (Mach > 1) and Hypersonic (Mach > 5) speeds. However, it is estimated that such missile systems will be put into service in the short term.
Supersonic and hypersonic missiles that travel quite quickly are critical because they give little reaction time to the target. In particular, it is the view that hypersonic missiles, which are the new trend, cannot be eliminated by existing air defense systems.
Turkish Intelligence Report on Hypersonic Missiles
The proliferation of hypersonic missiles has become widespread in the recent period as it has also drawn the attention of the Turkish Intelligence (MIT).
“In addition to the conventional threats, new threat areas emerge with the evolution and change of these threats. For example, accelerating hypersonic missile tests, developing cyber technology, competition in space, cyber attacks, new risk areas brought by virtual reality and far-right movements came to the fore in 2021,” MIT’s Annual Report for 2021 concluded.
Hypersonic missiles, which are continued to be developed by various countries, are missiles with flight speeds of Mach 5 and higher speeds.
Hypersonic missiles capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads cannot be intercepted by any air or missile defense system today due to their high speed. For this reason, countries have focused on hypersonic missile studies.