Turkish defence firms unveil new loitering munition Alpagut
Turkish defence firms Roketsan and STM have joined forces for a new loitering munition, unveiled at a defence expo in Istanbul this week, Defense News website reported.
The Alpagut will be effective against targets on land and at sea, including “radar and communications systems, critical facilities such as command centres, and targets of opportunity,” it cited İsmail Demir, head of the Turkish Defence Agency (SSB), as saying at the SAHA expo ceremony.
The 45-kilogram weapon can be equipped with an 11-kilogram warhead of various types and is slated to be launched from aerial platforms in the initial phase of the project.
Land and sea-launched variants of the Alpagut are set to follow, according to Defense News, which reported that Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles, including the TB-3, will be capable to carry and launch the drone munition.
Defense News cited an STM executive as saying the company plans to complete all flight tests of the new drone by the end of the next year to ensure operational readiness.
Turkey’s defence expenditure is set to steadily increase between 2019 and 2025 as Ankara prioritizes its defence industry under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Earlier this month, Erdoğan announced that he is going to increase his country’s defence budget by 100 billion liras ($5.3 billion) for 2023, the country’s centennial year, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.