Turkey test-fires first domestically-manufactured ballistic missile
Turkey has successfully test-fired its first homemade ballistic missile near the Black Sea coastal region of Sinop, the Turkish defense minister says.
“Our missile Bora (storm), with a range of 280km, was just test-fired in Sinop. It will strike its target in the Black Sea any minute now,” Fikri Isik told broadcaster A Haber on Thursday.
The test was later described as successful.
“Turkey now makes its own missile. We have gained the self-confidence to make better ones,” added the minister.
Bora has a payload of 450kg and it has been developed by Turkey’s major weapons manufacturer Roketsan.
In recent years, Turkey has been pursuing a long-term plan of manufacturing weapons systems domestically, as Ankara’s NATO allies refuse to transfer the technology to the country.
Turkey has also turned to non-NATO countries to access the know-how despite opposition from the alliance.
On April 28, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara and Moscow had “agreed in principle” on a deal for the purchase of the advanced Russian-made S-400 long-range air missile defense system.
Russia’s S-400 air missile defense system is capable of engaging 36 targets simultaneously and shooting down aircraft at a range of 400 kilometers and ballistic missiles at a range of 60 kilometers.
In 2013, Ankara concluded a $3.4bn deal with China for its HQ-9 system, but it scrapped the agreement in 2015 due to NATO’s opposition.
NATO argues that such systems are incompatible with the military alliance’s infrastructure and that they allow non-members to spy on the operational process of the organization.
Turkey, however, argues that it seeks more competitive prices and technology transfer, which the Western firms are reluctant to offer to Ankara.