Lockheed, Roketsan sign deal for F-35 missile system
AA photoLockheed Martin and Roketsan have signed a cooperation agreement to develop the SOM-J missile intended for integration into the inner weaponry station in the new versions of the F-35 fighter jet.
The partnership will enable the Technical Support Agreement to become online and the SOM-J to be marketed in global markets, said Roketsan in a written statement on Sept. 16, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
The integration of the SOM-J to F-35s was planned according to the Block 4. First flight tests will be made with F-16s, owned by the Turkish Armed Forces, according to the statement.
“We have been working with Roketsan for quite a while and coming off what they’ve done and development of the SOM missile and integration on Turkish F-16s, we saw an opportunity to work with them for SOM-J,” Rick Edwards, Lockheed’s executive vice president of its missiles and fire control division, told reporters after signing the contract, as quoted by Defense News.
The partnership takes advantage of Roketsan’s development of the weapon and Lockheed’s experience in aircraft integration, according the report.
The SOM-J missiles for Turkey and other countries would have final assembly in Ankara, Cheryl Amerine, a Lockheed spokeswoman, said, as quoted by Defense News, while the final assembly for U.S. missiles would take place at a Lockheed Martin manufacturing site in the U.S.