Turkish Armed Forces Foundation establishment Roketsan has finished a short trip to Australia after exhibiting at the Avalon Airshow in the hope of securing Australian defence contracts.
The company aimed to sell one of their missiles, a variant of the SOM (stand off missile) – SOM-J – currently in service with the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) F-16 and F-4E aircraft, to Australia, international allies and 'friendly' nations for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.
The SOM is an autonomous, long-range (250 kilometres), low observable, high precision, all weather, air to surface next generation missile to be used against highly defended, anti-access and high value, stationary and moving land/surface (ASuW) targets.
Under the serial production, SOM is integrated to the F-4E 2020 and F-16 Block 40 fighter aircraft taking part in the inventory of the TurAF.
Roketsan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus Defence & Space for the integration of SOM on the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft, something Roketsan says is relatively easy to integrate.
Due to the common requirements of TurAF and 5th Generation Fighter Program, SOM-J has been presented as an anti-surface SOM for F-35 JSF aircraft.
Roketsan and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control signed an agreement for long-term co-operation in order to jointly develop the variants of SOM-J as well as produce, market, sell and support SOM-J in order to fulfil the ASuW missile requirement of F-35 aircraft internal carriage.
The serial production is expected to begin in 2018 following the flight tests from F-16 Block 40 in the first quarter of 2017.
Roketsan are a 50-50 chance to secure contracts for this particular capability, as their only other competitor is Norwegian company Kongsberg, who offer the Joint Strike Missile (JSM).