ROKETSAN’s LEVENT missile based close-in air defense system will begin its firing tests at the end of 2023. ROKETSAN General Manager Murat İkinci gave the information during his presentation in SAHA Akademi in response to a question from Defence Turk regarding the state of LEVENT project which is planned to be used on Turkish Fast Attack Craft. A counterpart to US-made RAM system, LEVENT project consists of 2 different missiles and a family of launcher units.
First of the missiles will be based on the now in-service SUNGUR MANPADS, retaining the IIR seeker but with a larger rocket motor in order to achieve a longer range. It is also possible that SUNGUR’s impact fuze might be swapped for a proximity+contact fuze in order to increase the chances against missiles.
The second missile will be larger than SUNGUR derived missile with a range of 11 km and most importantly Passive RF+IIR seeker section. This draws a parallel with RIM-116 missiles’ passive RF sensor which allows the missile to home into the RF signals of anti-ship missiles improving the midcourse guidance and counter-countermeasure performance.
Meanwhile the first version of LEVENT is a 21-cell launcher, there will be other versions like SeaRAM system where the launcher can work autonomously thanks to onboard radar and EO sensors depending on customer needs.
With LEVENT belonging to a rare class of naval SHORADs in mind, LEVENT has a potential as an export product due to the design’s modularity in terms of not only the launcher configuration but also missiles. SUNGUR-derived missile and standalone launcher could appeal to lower budgets due to being based on a MANPADS while LEVENT could keep its appeal to higher end users with its dual mode missile and sensor loaded autonomous launcher.
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