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Stand Off Missile (SOM)

SOM, as the first indigenous cruise missile to be developed by Turkey, after completion of the design and qualification studies by TÜBITAK SAGE, was industrialized through a TÜBITAK SAGE and ROKETSAN partnership and entered serial production at ROKETSAN. SOM completed successfully its firing tests with F-4 and F-16 platforms, and continued development within the context of the Stand-off Ammunition project. The contracting authority of this project is the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), while ROKETSAN is its prime contractor and TÜBITAK SAGE is its main subcontractor.

In the past it has been attempted to destroy hard targets from a distance by conventional warheads. Such hard targets may, for example, consist of a concrete road, a metal bridge, or moving vehicles, such as tanks and armored cars. Because of the errors associated with the location of the target and the warhead delivery system, many warheads must be delivered to produce a single direct hit on such a hard target. Additionally, many direct hits are required to destroy a hard target because of its strong construction.

In order to reduce the number of warheads required to destroy a target, modern weapons utilize expensive seekers and guidance system. Such system must distinguish the target from its background and maintain lock-on until the warhead detonates.

The Stand off Missile (SOM) Air to Surface Missile Family is designed to operate in hostile environments and to be used against heavily defended high value land and sea surface targets. Modular design to support the required operational flexibility.

The SOM missiles have a range of 250 km. with high precision. The turbo jet which is one of the main parts of the missile is being produced by Kale Group in Turkey. Soon the SOM missile will be a completely native-product. The integration of the missile with the F-16 and the F-4 aircraft in Turkey has been completed. So these aircraft will be able to use it.

Kale Group which designed the first turbojet motor in Turkey, displayed the motor they produced for the SOM missile. The project which is the result of four years' work came to an end. The Head of the Technical and Chemistry Department at the Kale Group, Osman Okyay stated that after the trial tests, the first motor will be delivered next year in April and then the mass production will start.

There are currently three variants of SOM guided cruise missiles: SOM-A, SOM-B1 and SOM-B2. All three variants are equipped with an inertial navigation system (INS), a GPS satellite system and a tRN (terrain referenced navigation) radar system on the terrain map. The SOM-B missile is also equipped with the IIR (imaging infrared) thermal imaging head, which is also installed on the new SOM-J variant. The SOM-A and SOM-B1 missiles have a high-explosive warhead (BS), while the SOM-B2 missile has a tandem two-stage penetrating combat unit to hit highly protected targets. The SOM-J missile will be equipped with a 250 kg semi-armoured penetrating vehicle.

In its current form and design, the SOM did not fit inside the internal weapon bays of the F-35 aircraft. Roketsan Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) signed a contract at the Farnborough 2016 air show to adapt the SOM to the 5th generation F-35 fighter. The new version of the SOM-J rocket has a redesigned narrow fuselage and air intake, shifted from the lower back of the fuselage to the left side of the rocket's hull. The SOM-J (short for Joint Strike Fighter) will trade range and explosive power for compactness, allow Turkish F-35s to carry it without compromising stealth. Roketsan hoped to fly its SOM-J cruise missile for the first time possibly late 2016 ahead of planned integration with the F-16 Block 40 by 2018 and the Lockheed Martin F-35 sometime later. Compared to SOM, SOM-J’s missile body and payload have been downsized, but its range of more than 100nm is similar. SOM-J would compete against Norway’s Kongsberg Joint Strike Missile on the F-35 weapons market.

Turkey carried out a successful test of its first cruise missile with a high-explosive warhead capable of penetrating a concrete bunker, Science and Industry Minister Mustafa Varank said 05 September 2019. The SOM-B2 missile successfully hit a structure with a thick concrete roof, the video showed. Development of the weapon has now successfully concluded, local media reported citing Ismail Demir, head of the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB). The missile is a variant of the stand-off missile SOM. The series includes the SOM-A, SOM-B1 and SOM-J. It has a range of over 250 kilometres and can operate in low visibility conditions with high precision, according to the government.

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