Surface Forces: Turkish Harpoon


November 27, 2018: Turkey has begun production of the new locally designed Atmaca anti-ship missiles. Atmaca is similar to the U.S. Harpoon, but heavier (800 kg/1,760 pounds, compared to 728 kg/1,600), and has a similar range (200 kilometers compared to 224 for the latest version of Harpoon.) Atmaca has a 200 kg (440 pound) warhead. Turkish warships are equipped with the older Harpoon missile with a 124 kilometer range. Atmaca will replace Harpoon on the new Turkish built Ada class corvettes and the older, but being refurbished, G Class frigates and probably for other ships that are refurbished.

Acmaca uses GPS/INS guidance as well as radar for terminal guidance. The Atmaca electronics are built in Turkey and will undergo upgrades from the Turkish manufacturers, especially for handling improved countermeasures. The initial version of Atmaca can also be used from land-based fixed and mobile (four missile launcher on a truck) and eventually, an air-launched version.

Harpoon was introduced in 1977 and over 7,500 have been built so far. Other nations, like China and Sweden, have designed and built comparable designs and Turkey was correct in believing its current defense industries could do the same. Turkish firms have also developed smart bombs and laser-guided missiles and are offering these for export. Turkey has been expanding its defense manufacturing capability. Turkey had already developed world-class aircraft maintenance and upgrade capabilities and has long produced artillery and infantry weapons.


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