The UAE army is to purchase laser-guided rocket systems, Cirits, from Turkish missile maker Roketsan. AA photo
Turkish missile manufacturer Roketsan is to export its own laser-guided rocket system, known as the Cirit, to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) army for a total $196.2 million, as Turkey seeks to boost its arms exports to Gulf countries.
The Emirati army is the first customer for the Cirit system following the signing of a contract between the two parties during the International Defense Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi between Feb. 17 and 21.
“Arab countries in the region and their armed forces showed a substantial interest in Turkish companies and technologies during the fair,” Turkish Defence Industry Undersecretary Murad Bayar said, praising Turkish companies for exporting their own high technology products to other countries.
Including both industry giants and small-medium sized enterprises, Turkey has initiated negotiations for selling Atal helicopters, Altay tanks and ANKA unmanned aerial vehicle systems, Bayar said.
A total of 59 Turkish companies participated in the UAE’s biggest industrial exhibition.
The Cirit is one of the projects launched by Turkey to equip the Turkish army’s T-129 Atak, AH-1P Cobra, and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters with low-cost precision strike capabilities.
The system, which has been acknowledged for its success in engaging mobile targets, was developed by Roketsan for the purpose of filling the gap between cheap, low-precision, unguided rockets and high-cost, guided anti-tank missiles.
The Cirit is named after a traditional Turkish horseback game where two teams of riders fight a mock battle using wooden javelins.
French-German helicopter company Eurocopter selected the Cirit for a test and integration program to equip the Eurocopter EC635.