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Atmaca ASCM

Turkey's Atmaca [Hawk] anti-ship missile will start to be produced and put into service by the Turkish Navy in 2018 (it is expected to equip the MILGEM Corvettes and Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates). ATMACA anti-ship missile was tested for the first time in late 2017. Serial production of the Atmaca is scheduled to begin in 2018. The anti-ship guided missile was developed by Roketsan. The Turkish Defence Industries Underecretariat (SSM) signed a contract in 2009 on the research and development phase of the Atmaca project, with Roketsan as the prime contractor. The work on ATMACA started after the signing of the contract with ROKETSAN in 2009 as a result of long-running work at the Naval Forces Command Research Center Command (ARMERKOM).

Atmaca has similar capabilities to the Exocet (France), C-802 (China) and Harpoon (US) missiles. It weighs 800 pounds and carries a warhead weighing 200 kilos. On the other hand, 691-kilogram Harpoon has a range of 140 kilometres. It flies at a variable speed while it reaches a maximum range of 200 kilometers. Its guidance is achieved through INS / GPS (Inertial Navigation System / Global Positioning System) systems, while in the terminal phase it uses active radar system for stand-alone research and target detection. ATMACA fuze will be able to target at least 200 km away from the sea and will also have Data-link hardware. Together with this, ATMACA will be able to update the target remotely while driving. the main wing of the Turkish missile is larger than its US Harpoon counterpart. There are two hinges on the main wing of Atmaca compared to one on Harpoon wings; hence, the wing span of Atmaca is greater than Harpoons. This change was made to improve the flight performance of the missile. The control fins of the Turkish missile are considerably smaller than the US missile. Turkey intends to supplant the Microturbo TRI 40 miniature turbojet engine powering the Atmaca and Stand-off Missile (SOM) air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) with the domestically developed Kale 3500.

Naval battles have been fought only in the littoral arena since the first anti-ship cruise missile was fired in anger in 1967. Conflicts such as the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, the Arab-Israeli War of 1973, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1987, the Falklands War of 1982, the Battle of Sidra in 1986, Operation Praying Mantis in 1988, and the Gulf War of 1991 all were littoral scenarios matching various formidable offensive capabilities of anti-ship weapons with the defenses of the naval vessel. Reduced battle space, reduced reaction time, land launched anti-ship weapons as well as air and ship launched anti-ship weapons, and the lack of layered defenses are the common denominator in all these conflicts. The trend in this data favors the anti-ship cruise missile, with a marked increase in the probability of hitting a defended target.

Vessels such as surface ships face a tangible threat of attack from anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs). ASCMs are designed to fly at low altitudes and may reach air velocities of 0.8 Mach to over 2.0 Mach. In addition, ASCMs may employ countermeasures including radical maneuvers in order to confuse and elude conventional defense systems. Conventional defense systems include active (or hard kill) defense systems, and passive (or soft kill) defense systems. Hard kill techniques employ a counter weapon, such as an anti-missile missile, or radar guided guns.

Hard kill systems are expensive and require detection, analysis and interception of the incoming ASCM through sensors and guidance systems, all of which add to the overall cost of the system. The weapons used in hard kill systems often have greater value than the targets they are intended to destroy. Soft kill techniques include systems for jamming or confusing the flight control systems of the incoming ASCM and attempt to fool the ASCM into striking a dummy target, which the ASCM mistakes for its intended target. However, the immediate effectiveness of a deployed soft kill countermeasure cannot always be determined in a timely manner.

At the 8th Marine Systems Seminar 16 October 2016, the Turkish Navys technical head Admiral Ahmet akir announced that the domestically developed Atmaca anti-ship missile (AShM) had undergone a successful test firing. We are all closely following the Atmaca project and the first shots are being made and next year we will be shooting on the ships platform and we aim to make the Atmaca guided missile we plan to replace Harpoon as a [missile] with superior capability, long range, superior capabilities than Harpoon, said akir.

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