In a significant stride towards bolstering its naval capabilities, the Turkish Navy has embarked on a comprehensive initiative to outfit 11 of its naval platforms with the cutting-edge Atmaca anti-ship cruise missiles (AShMs) by 2027. This strategic move comes after an agreement was unveiled during an online meeting convened by SAHA Istanbul, a prominent defense, aviation, and aerospace cluster in Turkey. The CEO of STM (Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A?), a renowned defense technology company, revealed the pivotal accord that had been forged with Turkish missile manufacturer Roketsan. The agreement paves the way for the integration of Atmaca AShMs onto the designated naval vessels, effectively phasing out the aging Harpoon anti-ship missiles and modernizing Turkey’s naval fleet.
The announcement carries significant weight as it marks the initial official declaration of this expansive project. According to Ozgur Guleryuz, CEO of STM, the contract sealing this ambitious venture was inked on November 23, 2022, between Roketsan and STM. The joint effort aims to seamlessly incorporate the advanced Atmaca anti-ship missiles into 11 distinct naval platforms, a selection meticulously defined by the Turkish Navy and the Turkish Defense Agency (SSB). While specific platform designations have not been publicly disclosed, the contract between STM and Roketsan suggests that the Atmaca missiles can be seamlessly integrated into STM-contracted vessels. This implies that Ada-class corvettes, I-class frigates, and the upgraded Barbaros-class (Meko 200TN) are poised to be equipped with the Atmaca AShMs, effectively enhancing their operational capabilities.
The Atmaca missile system, developed by Turkish missile manufacturer Roketsan, boasts an impressive array of attributes that position it as a potent and versatile naval asset. With its all-weather performance, long-range precision strike capabilities, and anti-ship cruise missile designation, Atmaca offers a critical edge in modern naval warfare. The missile leverages a combination of advanced technologies, including a global positioning system (GPS), inertial navigation system, barometric altimeter, and radar altimeter, to precisely navigate toward its designated target. The inclusion of an active radar seeker ensures impeccable target precision. Featuring an extensive range exceeding 220 kilometers (140 miles), the Atmaca missile presents a substantial threat to targets located beyond the line of sight. Its high-explosive fragmentation warhead further amplifies its effectiveness. Notably, the missile’s cutting-edge data-link technology endows it with the capacity for three-dimensional mission planning, target updates, reattacks, and mission termination, significantly enhancing its operational flexibility.
The Atmaca missile system has already proven its mettle through a series of successful tests and real-world applications. In November 2019, the Turkish Naval Forces executed their maiden ship-launched firing of the Atmaca missile from the Ada-class corvette TCG K?nal?ada in the Black Sea. Subsequent milestones include a successful hit on a target from a range exceeding 200 kilometers in July 2020, and a flawless test fire against a live warhead in Sinop in February 2021. The Atmaca missile system had completed a remarkable 20 successful test firings, culminating in its certification for deployment on the Ada-class corvettes. This succession of achievements underscores the reliability of the Atmaca missile system, positioning it as a formidable asset within Turkey’s naval arsenal. The integration of the Atmaca anti-ship cruise missiles onto 11 naval platforms underscores Turkey’s dedication to enhancing its maritime capabilities and modernizing its defense infrastructure.