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BUSINESS > Turkey awaits local anti-tank missile

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency

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Turkey awaits the completion of its first domestically designed anti-tank missile, UMTAS, which has undergone several successful tests, hoping to add it to its portfolio of domestically produced defense industry products for export.

Roketsan, the missile manufacturer of Turkey, initiated the long-range anti-tank UMTAS missile project in the hopes of meeting the demand of the Turkish Armed Forces, but it has also been projected as Turkish product to be offered to international buyers.

Turkey has accelerated its efforts in the domestic design and development of arms systems, which were traditionally developed to eliminate an import dependency on defense. However, in recent years, as more sellable products have been manufactured, domestically produced defense systems have become a new, major export opportunity as well, thanks in particular to the interest of Arab countries.

UMTAS, with its infrared imaging and laser-seeker options, is an anti-tank missile with a range of 8 km to be used against armored targets, from air-to-ground as well as ground-to-ground operations. The system is now going through further tests for technical properties and compatibility with environmental conditions. Thus far, the system has completed ballistic missile tests and controlled missile tests, and its sub-system design has been finished.

UMTAS is also considered the official anti-tank system of the Turkish attack helicopter T - 129 (ANKA), currently in development, and can be integrated with various platforms including helicopters, UAV, land vehicles and naval platforms.

Roketsan also continues to study the development of an anti-tank missile with Laser Seeker Warheads (L – UMTAS) and missiles using high-explosive particles.

Last month, Roketsan finalized a deal to export its own laser-guided rocket system, known as the Cirit, to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a total of $196.2 million during a defense industry exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Turkey has been reportedly in talks with several Middle Eastern companies for the sale of Atal helicopters, Altay tanks and ANKA unmanned aerial vehicle systems.

March/20/2013

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