Aerial Warfare

Indonesia and Turkey Keen to Cooperate in Development of Air-to-surface Missiles

TUBITAK SAGE Miniature Missile Developed for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
TUBITAK SAGE Miniature Missile Developed for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Indonesia has formed a teaming arrangement with a Turkish defence research organisation to develop a new type of modular air-to-surface missile that can be deployed on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The teaming involves engineers from Indonesia’s Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey’s (TUBITAK’s) Defence Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE). Janes report that BPPT and SAGE are working on a modular air-to-surface missile type that can be configured for various mission sets, from anti-ship operations to ground-attack missions. The sensors and payloads of the missile will be interchangeable, even on short notice.

The objective of the collaboration is to equip Indonesia’s indigenously developed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with surface strike capabilities. On December 30, 2020 Indonesian Aerospace (PT Dirgantara Indonesia or PTDI) has unveiled a prototype of an indigenously developed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for which it sees a number of domestic missions. The prototypes dubbed the Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) was unveiled to the public at PTDI facilities in Bandung. The platform is the product of an Indonesian consortium that includes state-owned electronics company PT Len, the Indonesian Air Force, and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space.

Elang Hitam unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV)
Elang Hitam Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)

The Elang Hitam has incorporated several design aspects of China’s CH-4 UAV that the Indonesian Air Force recently purchased and will fill 2 of the military’s future unmanned aerial squadron. The Indonesian Air Force also has received its first batch of Chinese-made AR-2 air-to-surface, precision-guided missiles. The AR-2 was designed for the CH-series of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which were developed and produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The AR-2 relies on its inertial guidance system for mid-course updates and on its semi-active laser (SAL) seeker for terminal homing. With a weight of about 20 kilograms and a 5 kg warhead, an AR-2 has a maximum range of 8 kilometers and a top speed of 735 kilometers per hour.

Turkey has already started mass-production of its latest miniature missile developed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Developed by TUBITAK SAGE, the laser-guided munition Bozok has undergone multiple successful fire tests. Its firing tests saw it being integrated into the Bayraktar TB2 UCAV, manufactured by drone magnate Baykar who also developed the Akinci. Bozok is smaller and has a light compact structure in comparison to the MAM-L, which has been actively used by Turkey’s drones. MAM-L is part of the family of domestically developed smart micro munitions (MAM), including MAM-C and MAM-T. Turkey has also neared the final stage when it comes to its homegrown air-to-air missiles Bozdogan and Gökdogan, also developed by TUBITAK SAGE.

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