Turkey’s defense capabilities have seen significant advancements in recent years, particularly in the field of ballistic missile technology. This article delves into the technical details of Turkey’s top four ballistic missiles – the Bora (KHAN), the J-600T Yildirim I and II, the MGM-140A Block I Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), and the Tayfun. Each missile, with its unique specifications and capabilities, underscores Turkey’s growing prowess in missile technology.
Turkey’s Ballistic Missiles
The Bora (KHAN) is a ballistic missile made in Turkey by Roketsan. It weighs 2500 kg and is 8.0 m long with a diameter of 610 mm. The missile can be equipped with either a HE or fragmentation warhead, weighing 470 kg. It uses composite solid fuel as a propellant and can reach a maximum speed of Mach 5. The Bora (KHAN) has an effective firing range of 80 km to 280 km. Its guidance system can be either GPS + GLONASS aided INS or INS only. With GPS + GLONASS aided INS, the missile has an accuracy of ≤10 m CEP, while with INS only, the accuracy is ≤100 m CEP. The Bora (KHAN) is launched from a VOLAT truck.
The J-600T Yildirim I and II, produced by Roketsan, demonstrate Turkey’s progress in missile technology. These theatre ballistic missiles, also serving as short-range ballistic missiles, weigh 2100 kg and measure 6.10 m in length and 600 mm in diameter. They are armed with a 480 kg TNT + RDX conventional warhead and propelled by a single-stage solid propellant engine. The Yildirim I has an operational range of 150 km, while the Yildirim II can reach up to 300 km. Both versions can achieve supersonic speeds and are guided by inertial and optical guidance systems. The F-600T, based on the MAN 26.372 6×6, serves as the launch platform for these missiles. With their combination of power, precision, and range, the J-600T Yildirim I and II significantly enhance Turkey’s defense capabilities.
The MGM-140A Block I Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) is a formidable weapon in the field of rocket artillery and tactical ballistic missiles. It is a product of the United States and is manufactured by Lockheed Martin. This missile weighs 3,690 pounds (1,670 kg) and is 13 feet (4.0 m) long and 24 inches (610 mm) in diameter, with a wingspan of 55 inches (1.4 m). The ATACMS has a maximum firing range of 190 miles (300 km) and can reach a flight ceiling of 160,000 feet (50 km). It is guided by a GPS-aided inertial navigation system and has a maximum speed of Mach 3 (0.6 mi/s; 1.0 km/s). The missile can be launched from two platforms: the M270 and the HIMARS. The combination of speed, range, and precision makes the MGM-140A Block I ATACMS a valuable asset in modern warfare.
The Tayfun, developed by Roketsan, the Turkish rocket and missile center, is a short-range ballistic missile that has made significant advancements in missile technology. It is launched from a mobile launcher in Rize and has achieved a remarkable range of 560km in just 458 seconds, making it the Turkish-made missile with the longest range. The missile’s launch vehicle is the domestically produced BMC 525-44 8X8 Tactical Wheeled Vehicle. Interestingly, the Tayfun shares similar infrastructure with the Bora (Khan) tactical ballistic missile, including the launch vehicle, canister, and appearance. However, the Tayfun sets itself apart with a slower burning rate, resulting in a slower acceleration rate and a lower thrust-to-weight ratio compared to the Bora. This unique characteristic allows the Tayfun to maintain its energy for extended periods, contributing to its impressive range. Enhancements in the propulsion and payload sections, software upgrades, or a combination of both can nearly double the range of such missiles. However, the exact technical specifications of the Tayfun remain undisclosed to the public.