Amid rising tensions across the East Mediterranean region involving neighbors Greece and Turkey, Ankara has reportedly begun developing its first surface-to-surface, laser-guided missile, TRGL-230.
According to multiple local reports circulating on the internet, Turkey’s major defense contractor and weapon manufacturer, Roketsan, is the brains behind the ambitious program of giving Ankara its first surface-to-surface, laser-guided missile, which will be the latest addition to the nation’s military might, which already boasts S-400 air defense missile systems.
According to reports, a brief statement concerned with the manufacture of the missiles was made by unnamed officials. “The 230mm TRGL-230 will largely be used in Turkey’s overseas military operations,” officials told local media agencies.
The Ankara-based contractor Roketsan Roket Sanayii ve Ticaret A.S, which missiles and rockets to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), has been involved in the development of the missile, which is expected to go hand-in-hand with the nation’s unarmed Bayraktar TB2 drones, as a bid to counter threats and increase the operational capabilities of the nation’s military forces.
The indigenously produced missiles are touted to compliment the TB2 Akinci drones, with the UCAVs designating a target, which will be struck by the TRGL-230 while being launched from the ground.
The Turkish-made TB2 UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), which successfully completed its test flight in the country’s Tekirdağ province recently, is expected to carry a host of air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons- ranging from unguided bombs to precision-attack smart munitions including the SOM ALCM (Air-Launched Cruise Missile).
Defense Turkey Magazine has said that the medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UCAV will be equipped with state-of-the-art avionics on board.
“AKINCI UAV will have a 20m wingspan, is 12,5m long and 4,1m high and to be equipped with indigenously developed SatCom, CATS FLIR, Wide Area Surveillance System, ELINT/SIGINT System, ESM Pod, Collision Avoidance System, Multi-role AESA Air Radar and a SAR/GMTI Radar”, it stated.
Moreover, the drone should possess a flight endurance of up to 24 hours and a service ceiling of 40,000 feet, while boasting a payload capacity of 1,350 kilograms (900 kilograms external payload as well as an internal payload of 450 kilograms).
If and when, Turkey finishes off work on the TRGL-230 laser-guided missiles, it will be added to an impressive list of defense missile systems at the disposal of Erdoğan, which will include the S-400s, indigenous HISARs, US-made MIM-23s, and Bofors 40mm produced under the alliance of Turkey and Sweden.
Interestingly, the news of the manufacture of the TRGL-230 missiles comes on the back of the US’ decision to lift embargo on the Greek Cypriots, a move which has been labeled by the Turkish Foreign Ministry as to “ignore the equality and balance between the two peoples on the island”.
The ministry continued to stress that while the need of the hour has been to reduce the ongoing tensions in the East Mediterranean region, Pentagon’s decision ‘is incompatible with the spirit of the alliance”. “We expect the US to reconsider its decision and support existing efforts to establish peace and stability in the region.” said the Ministry.