June 29, 2022

Turkey launches mass production of laser-guided munitions for its drones

Turkey has started mass-producing its latest miniature munition developed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), an official said on Saturday.

Developed by the TÜBITAK Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE), the Bozok laser-guided munition has undergone several successful firing tests.

Its test-firing saw it integrated into the Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), developed by drone mogul Bayraktar.

“Mass production of the institute’s first Bozok UAV munition has started,” said Gürcan Okumuş, director of TÜBITAK SAGE, adding that they will start batch deliveries.

Okumuş also said that he developed an even more effective warhead for Bozok and extended its range as well.

“We developed the penetrating warhead for Bozok. We are going to have related firing tests,” he noted.

Bozok is smaller and has a lightweight compact structure compared to MAM-L, which was actively used by Turkish drones. The MAM-L is part of the domestically developed Smart Micromunitions (MAM) family, which also includes the MAM-C and MAM-T.

Bozdoğan air-to-air missile (bottom) is seen next to the Turkish Akıncı unmanned combat aerial vehicle during the Teknofest aerospace and technology event, Baku Azerbaijan, May 28, 2022. (AA Photo)

Bozok’s range had been extended to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the initial 9 kilometers, but its developer is looking to increase it even further.

“There have been shooting tests where we have covered more than 15 kilometers with Bozok, we are looking for where we can go further. We are aiming for an even longer range,” Okumuş said.

According to its developer, Bozok provides effective defense without jeopardizing friendly elements in asymmetric warfare by giving drones attack capabilities. Its lightweight and compact design allows it to provide operational conformability for drones where weight is critical.

Bozok’s precision guidance is achieved using the semi-active laser seeker. It features a large-scale anti-personnel effect based on proximity sensors and optimized target effectiveness.

Turkey has also approached the final stage with regard to its Bozdoğan and Gökdoğan air-to-air missiles, also developed by TÜBITAK SAGE.

They may soon be put into mass production, as Okumuş said on Friday that they are conducting their final studies and analyses.

Bozdoğan Gökdoğa is developed under the Göktüğ project led by TÜBITAK SAGE.

The institute’s work on air-to-air missiles began in 2013. It developed Gökdoğan as a short-range, high-maneuverable infrared seeker, and Bozdoğan as a long-range active radar seeker missile.

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