By the end of 2022, Turkey plans on decommissioning its existing AIM-9 AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM, air-to-air missiles, and replacing them with locally produced equivalents Merlin (Bozdoğan) Within Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (WVRAAM) and Peregrine (Gökdoğan) Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM).
The decision to do the same comes in the wake of an US embargo on the sale of weapons systems to Turkey following Ankara’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems. US Sanctions have forced Ankara to focus on developing its own equivalents of American weapons technology. The decision comes at time when Turkey was able to successfully conduct fire tests of its Peregrine BVRAAM from a F-16 on July 5.
Turkish media reported citing sources from the Turkish Ministry of Defense said, the firing of the Peregrine BVRAAM missile from a Turkish F-16 was a successful marking the final phase of the development of the missile ahead of mass production.
Around 2 years ago, a Turkish F-16 had tested the effectiveness of the Merlin WVRAAM missile.
By the end of 2022, both missiles are slated to be certified for the F-16 fighters, said sources from the Turkish defense industry.
The development of domestic missiles are cost effective since their integration and introduction into combat duty would cost the Turkish taxpayers significantly more if it were to opt for the US equivalents.
“We will deliver our Bozdoğan and Gökdoğan missiles to the Turkish Armed Forces this year. I salute everyone who contributed to this holiday gift we gave our nation,” said, Dr. Ismail Demir, President and Chairman of the Turkish Defense Industry.