The Turkish defense industry successfully continues its efforts to develop RamJet propulsion system for AKBABA and GOKHAN missiles with national resources.
“We’ll see we reach a different dimension in the field of cruise missiles. We are working to increase the domesticity rates of our cruise missiles. Soon, there will be tests of our RamJet propulsion missiles,” Turkish defense industry chief Ismail Demir said in a recent interview on a Turkish TV channel.
This statement by President Demir was met with great surprise by some. Although it was known that Turkey had done various studies in the field of RamJet, it was not thought that the test phase would be started in such a short time. The details of Turkey’s work in the field of RamJet have been revealed by SavunmaSanayiST.com, our Turkish affiliate.
Turkey’s RamJet Studies
According to the information obtained by SavunmaSanayiST.com, Turkey is carrying out RamJet studies for at least two different missiles whose names are known by the public. The first of these is the AKBABA Anti-Radiation Missile developed by Roketsan.
The name of AKBABA, the first anti-radiation missile developed by Turkey with national means, or also known as ‘anti-radar missile’, was officially announced to the public for the first time on July 1, 2021, with a presentation by the Turkish Air Force Command.
Roketsan, Turkey’s technology base in the field of missile systems and especially solid propellant propulsion systems, is developing a solid fuel RamJet engine for the AKBABA Anti-Radiation Missile. While there are no details about the AKBABA Missile, it is estimated that the mentioned test activities may be related to AKBABA. It is known that with the AKBABA Project, Turkey will become one of the few countries that can develop supersonic anti-radiation missiles.
Another RamJet-propelled missile of Turkey is the GOKHAN Air to Air Missile, which is under development by TUBITAK-SAGE. According to the information obtained by SavunmaSanayiST.com, TUBITAK-SAGE is developing a liquid-fueled RamJet engine for the GOKHAN Missile. Tests of this developed engine are planned to be carried out by the end of this year.
It is aimed that the GOKHAN Missile, which will be used on the F-16 platforms in the first place, will have better features than the MBDA production METEOR Missile.
What is Anti-Radiation Missile?
Anti-Radiation Missiles have been developed to destroy targets such as radar, command-control and electronic warfare systems. Thanks to the passive radar guidance system, they are used to target the point where the radiation is intense and to destroy the systems stationed in the land and sea.
- They were developed to “Destroy / Suppress Enemy Air Defense” missions abbreviated as DEAD and SEAD.
- They carry a classic explosive warhead. They can reach supersonic speeds.
- They are difficult to detect and destroy.
- They have the feature of guiding the mixing source called Home-of-Jam
The Turkish Air Force currently uses US-made HARM missiles for anti-radiation purposes. The 152nd squadron, with SEAD deployed F-16s, has HARM missiles.
HARM Missile Features
- Launch Weight: 360 kilograms
- Propulsion: Double Pulse Rocket Engine
- Length: 4.14 meters
- Diameter: 25.4 centimeters
- Wingspan: 101.6 centimeters
- Range: 48+ kilometers
- Speed: Supersonic
RamJet Propulsion System
Original ideas for the RamJet propulsion system were first developed in Europe in the early 1900s.In the RamJet system, thrust is produced by passing hot gas from fuel combustion through a nozzle. To maintain flow, combustion must occur at a higher pressure than the pressure at the nozzle outlet.
In a Ramjet, high pressure is generated by ‘bumping’ external air into the combustor using the forward speed of the vehicle. In a turbojet engine, the high pressure in the combustor is produced by a part called the compressor. RamJet has no compressor. Therefore RamJets are lighter and simpler than a turbojet.