Air-to-surface missiles developed for the F-35 fighter jet could be used with Turkey‘s locally-developed national combat aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the country’s industry and technology minister said on Aug. 3.
“If the countries in the F-35 program want to buy this type of cruise missile, we can easily sell these missiles even if we are out of the program,” he added.
Turkey‘s locally-produced SOM-J cruise missile can also be integrated into Akıncı UAVs produced by Turkish company Baykar, said Varank, adding that the apex of the UAV project would be to produce unmanned combat aircraft.
“This is the future of UAVs. I believe Akıncı will have a huge multiplier effect in our defense industry,” he said.
Since 2017, Turkey and the U.S. have been at odds over Turkey‘s decision to buy the S-400, a Russian-made missile defense system, and U.S. threats to break its contract to sell TurkeyF-35 jets over the dispute.
U.S. officials have argued the Russian system would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.
Hurriyet Daily News