TUBITAK SAGE, which is Turkey’s one of the most important research and development institutions, placed in the heart of the critical and important defence projects. The institution, which has undertaken or has taken place in the development of many important ammunitions from the past Toros rockets to today’s critical ammunition SOM and Göktuğ missile family, is seen as the most important experience for young people and favourite institution for high engineering studies.
TÜBİTAK SAGE Institute Manager Mr. Gürcan Okumuş answered our questions about the projects on which SAGE was working. First of all, we would like to thank Mr. Gürcan Okumuş and other officials who hosted us at SAGE.
“We can say that our country will have supersonic missiles with RAMJET in the near future.”
Defence Turk: A and B models of SOM cruise missile are in mass production process. The development process of C-1 and C-2 continues. Can you summarize the latest situation of C-1 and C-2? What are the differences and features from each other?
Gürcan Okumuş: The main feature that distinguishes SOM C1 and C2 from other SOM products is that there is a data link and its use for sea targets. The SOM cruise missile, which has many capabilities, can be used effectively against sea targets as well thanks to the data link in C1 and C2 versions. The main difference between C1 and C2 is that C2 has a warhead in the piercing effect as in B2.
“Thought of SOM that can be thrown off the surface”
Gürcan Okumuş: Various alternatives about its being expelled from the sea or the surface are being discussed and some preliminary studies are being carried out, but there is no signed project at the moment.
Defence Turk: At what stage are the studies about SOM-J?
Gürcan Okumuş: SOM-J project continues. As the subcontractor of ROKETSAN in this project, we are responsible for missile design and integration. The F-35 side stopped, so we are not moving on the F-35 side, but the project did not stop. Shooting from F-16 is on the plan. At the same time, we are negotiating about using SOM-J in MMU with TUSAŞ. On the other hand, negotiations continue to be used in large UAVs such as AKINCI and AKSUNGUR. I hope we will see SOM-J shot from F-16 in 2020.
Defence Turk: What are the next tests of Gökdoğan and Bozdoğan and when do you plan the tests?
Gürcan Okumuş: Under normal conditions, the planned completion time of the project is the end of 2020. Ground tests have been completed. Next, there are tests to be made from the plane. As in the last shot, test shots will be made with telemetry trial heads against the target aircraft without a warhead. Trial head is a warhead with telemetry transmitter, flight termination system and data collection system. With the final configuration tests with warheads, the development phase of the project will end and serial production will begin. In the coming months, 401 Test Fleet Command will be fired on target aircraft.
Defence Turk: Kuzgun appeared first in IDEF19, it was at the conceptual concept stage. Or can we see an improvement soon? Has it passed to the project phase?
Gürcan Okumuş: We keep proceeding, it continues as an internal project from our perspective. Kuzgun has different concepts and studies are continuing. We will explain the current situation at the end of 2020.
Defence Turk: What is the latest situation in TOGAN ammunition? Is it planned to be used for UAVs?
Gürcan Okumuş: The project is still under development. It is planned to be an effective ammunition that can be used from a wide variety of platforms. In the coming months new tests are planned with the Hürkuş aircraft of TUSAŞ. We also have a project that is reflected in the media with ASİSGUARD Company. There is a rocket fuse in TOGAN. In our road map, we will also integrate the reactive particle warhead, which is the patented product of SAGE, in TOGAN.
Defence Turk: Do you have a work plan for Ramjet propulsion systems? Or are you working towards the future?
Gürcan Okumuş: We are working on the Ramjet. We have a Ramjet project, the contract of which has been signed and is on-going. The project continues very successfully, but the most important thing to develop a ramjet is the infrastructure. Developing ramjet means having the infrastructure where you can test ramjet propulsion systems. Our infrastructure work continues. It is over 90%. We can say that our country will have supersonic missiles with RAMJET in the near future.
Defence Turk: At what stage is the Sapan Electro Magnetic System?
Gürcan Okumuş: SAPAN continues. We are planning to finish the project around June.
Defence Turk: Is its integration into naval forces considered?
Gürcan Okumuş: SSB has established a centre of excellence in this regard. We work together with ASELSAN in this centre of excellence. ASELSAN carries out work on the power and barrel side, and on the ammunition side; we work on guided-unguided hypersonic ammunition. After our SAPAN project is completed, our work in electromagnetic weapon systems will be only on the ammunition side, not on the power side. Since the output of SAPAN will be hypersonic ammunition, we have the highest know-how on that subject. Some trials are already on-going.
Thanks to TÜBİTAK SAGE Institute Manager Mr. Gürcan Okumuş.
The Original Text is in Turkish.
Translation: Elifnur Başaran