WATCH: Turkey’s Home-Grown Bozdoğan Missile Shoots Down Drone In First-Ever Aerial Drills

Turkey’s home-grown air-to-air missile, Bozdoğan (Merlin), successfully hit a target drone with pinpoint accuracy, a first-ever exercise that marked Ankara’s entry into the elite group of nations with a similar technology  

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to Twitter on Wednesday to thank young technicians and engineers involved in the GOKTUG project who helped in the successful test-launch of the in-sight air-to-air missile.

“Turkey has become one of the few countries to own air-to-air missile technology. Our air-to-air in-sight missile Bozdogan, developed by our young technicians and engineers in the Goktug project, hit the target at the first shot,” Erdogan tweeted.

Developed by the TÜBİTAK Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (TÜBİTAK-SAGE) under to GÖKTUĞ Project, Bozdogan (Merlin) was successfully launched from the ground and intercepted the aerial object, a Simsek high-speed target drone manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) before hitting it with extreme accuracy.

The GÖKTUĞ Project was initiated in 2013 to revamp and replace the missiles currently used by the Turkish Air Force with national systems. It also aims to develop two variants of AAMs that are to be launched from F-16s as well as future Turkish indigenous Hurjet lead-in fighter-trainer/lightweight combat aircraft and stealthy TF-X next-generation fighter.

The short-range air-to-air missile Bozdoğan will replace the “AIM-9X Sidewinder” missiles which are currently used by the Turkish Air Force.

Bozdoğan belongs to the within-visual-range (WVR) category of AAM with a range of fewer than 30 km. These missiles are aimed to capitalize on their agility rather than their range. It has imaging infra-red (IIR), fire and forget as well as fire and update modes. They can be fired from every angle.

Equipped with high thrust-low smoke solid-fuel technology, a full electronic rocket engine safe start and ignition system with high reliability and safety level, Bozdoğan is a long-range, active radar seeker missile.

It uses Turkey’s solid-fuel dual-motor rocket technology, which also powers the country’s new line of surface-to-air missiles. It also has a better and continuous fuse for high standards of safety and reliability.

Bozdogan and Gokdogan were first introduced at the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in May 2017 that took place in the Black Sea in the province of Sinop in northern Turkey. The ballistic launches are required to check the engine performance of the rocket, without guidance and its ability to destroy targets.

Bozdogan is a ground-breaking development for Turkey’s research and development in the defense sector. Amid the constant geopolitical shift and regional conflicts, modernizing its military sector gives Turkey a space to place itself highly not just in the regional theater but also in the world order.

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