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Turkey successfully tests HISAR-A short-range air defense missile, ministry says

Turkey conducted a successful test flight of its HISAR-A short-range, low-altitude air defense missile system on Thursday, media reported.

The test was carried out in the central Aksaray province by the manufacturers, Roketsan and Aselsan, Turkey’s leading defense contractors, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, citing a defense ministry statement.

The statement said the HISAR missile project, managed by the Defense Industry Undersecretariat, was designed to meet the needs of the Turkish Land Forces Command.

According to Anadolu, the missile was fired from a launch system, flew programmed manoeuvres and the flight completed after the “second pulse engine” was fired.

HISAR missile family

The HISAR missile family is intended to target aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. Rocketsan developed the missile system, while Aselsan developed radar, control systems and vehicles to carry, control and launch the missiles.

HISAR-A has a range of 15km with a maximum altitude of 5,000m, while the HISAR-O has a range of 25km and a maximum altitude of 15,000m. The missiles feature dual-pulse solid rocket motor, midcourse inertial navigation and data link, and terminal guidance using an imaging infrared seeker.

Turkey’s air and missile defense deals

Turkey has been pushing hard to develop missile systems and has recently signed a number of high-profile deals.

Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on November 12 that Turkey had agreed with Eurosam to develop an air defense missile system and to own the technology with Turkey’s “own local resources.” The previous day, Canikli signed a letter of intent with the defense ministers of France and Italy, paving the way for Turkey’s purchase of the Eurosam SAMP-T launcher systems and Aster 30 long-range surface-to-air missiles.

On December 21, Russia said it had completed negotiations with Turkey for the sale of the S-400 air defence missile system, with delivery scheduled for late 2019. The deal – reportedly worth up to $2.5 billion – was being negotiated since last summer, with transfer of technology and joint production being an important Turkish consideration. The agreement was signed in September, when Ankara made an advance payment, but Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in October that Turkey could annul the S-400 deal if Moscow refuses to transfer technology.

The S-400 deal has raised concerns among NATO members about data security, particularly with the F-35. Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) wants to connect the F-35 systems with the Turkish Air Force information network, HvBS. If the S-400 is also connected to the HvBS, there is a risk that data collected by the advanced Joint Strike Fighter’s sensors may end up being transmitted to Russia.

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