August 10, 2022

Turkey launches mass production of miniature drone missile

ANKARA, Turkey – A Turkish government research agency has started mass-producing a new miniature ammunition to be mounted in the Bayraktar TB2 drone, made by a Turkish company Baykar Makina.

The laser-guided Bozok missile was developed by the TÜBİTAK Defense Industries Research and Development Institute. It has undergone several successful fire tests.

Turkey has supplied 96 TB2 drones to international customers, including Poland, the first European buyer. Defense industry officials said other potential buyers of Turkish-made drones include the UK, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovakia, Uruguay and Albania.

Engineers have extended the Bozok’s range from the original 9 km to 15 km, and they are working on a more efficient warhead and a new range extension. The work is currently in the firing test stage, according to Gurcan Okumuş, who manages the research institute.

The Bozok is smaller and has a lighter and more compact structure compared to the MAM-L, an ammunition widely used by Turkish-made combat drones. MAM-L is part of the family of smart micromunitions developed at the national level.

The Bozok offers precision guidance with its semi-active laser seeker, proximity sensors and optimized target efficiency, according to TÜBİTAK.

The institute has also developed two air-to-air missiles, Bozdogan and Gokdogan, both close to mass production.

Work on air-to-air missiles began in 2013. The research institute developed Gokdogan with a short range, high maneuverability and an infrared seeker, and Bozdogan as a long-range active radar seeker missile.

Burak Ege Bekdil is Turkey correspondent for Defense News. He has written for Hurriyet Daily News and worked as Ankara bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He is also a member of the Middle East Forum and writes regularly for the Middle East Quarterly and the Gatestone Institute.