Interview with Roketsan CEO, Murat İkinci

1) Could you please describe Roketsan’s place on international scale? What are the short and long-term goals for Roketsan?

Since our establishment in 1988, we have been proud to represent Turkey in the international arena, driven by our aim to play a leading role in the provision of indigenous, reliable and groundbreaking rocket and missile solutions. I’d like to begin by saying that I take great pride in working for a company with such great vision.

As Roketsan, we keep abreast of developing technologies which allows us to develop indigenous and national products that address the needs of our Armed Forces on land, at sea and in the air, as well as those of friendly and allied nations. We are also engaged in works to elevate our country into the space league under the leadership of our Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB). Our exports of high-tech defence systems and munitions to friendly and allied nations contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability and safety, and are another source of our strength beyond our works at home. However, we are more than just a company that designs and manufactures rockets and missiles, being rather a giant technological army that develops advanced technologies. Today, our products are drawing the attention of different countries right at the trial phase.

Our core objective is to keep developing value-added products that further reinforce the technologic power of our country through indigenous and national means. As a “technology powerhouse”, we aim to contribute to Turkey’s capabilities in defence and space at a global level and to produce tailor-made, state-of-the-art solutions for friendly and allied nations.

2) MAM-L is being exported to many countries, along with UCAVs. What is the export potential for the recently developed MAM-T?

We are at the final stage of the works to introduce MAM-T, the latest member of our Smart Micro Munition product family, into the inventory of Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).

MAM-T, which has been designed to provide greater warhead efficiency and to satisfy the range requirements of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) ammunitions, successfully hit its target at the first firing test held in April 2021, launched from Bayraktar AKINCI UCAV. With the final firing test, held in June 2021, MAM-T was launched successfully from AKINCI, further proving itself in terms of capability and performance.

Developed nationally and indigenously, and optimised in terms of weight and efficiency, MAM-T is effective against armoured or unarmoured vehicles, buildings and surface targets. Its mid-stage guidance capabilities that can be supported with its Global Positioning and Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS) provide the munition with high precision against moving and stationary targets in a BLOCK-1 configuration, and features also a semi-active laser seeker. MAM-T, the youngest member of the family, has been designed to be compatible with different platforms, offering a 30+ km range capability to UCAVs, 60 km to light attack aircraft and over 80 km to fighter aircraft, and so continues to demonstrate the game-changing potential of the family.


3) Could you share the air defence projects Roketsan is working on?

As Roketsan, we develop a wide range of air defence systems. SUNGUR Air Defence Missile System is among these – a next-generation Short Range Air-Defence Missile System that we aim to introduce to TAF inventory within 2021.

SUNGUR will provide low-altitude, short-range air defence to units and facilities, whether static or mobile, in the combat zone or hinterland.  Because the system can be mobilised, it can easily support deploying units.

The 8-km range air defence missile used in the system is the primary feature distinguishing SUNGUR from its peers. The missile system provides significant advantages in the destruction of air targets, featuring a warhead with an explosive power that is higher than that of similar systems in the inventory, and imaging infrared seeker (IIR) technologies that maximise precision.

HİSAR Air Defence Missile
HİSAR Air Defence Missile

HİSAR Air Defence Missiles, used for the protection of military bases, ports, facilities and troops against attacks from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, cruise missiles, air-to-ground missiles and UAVs and UCAVs.

HİSAR-A and HİSAR-O missiles have a modular structure as part of a family concept, and are designed to be compatible with different platforms, fire control, and command control infrastructures.

Another member of our air defence systems is the ALKA Directed Energy Weapon System (DEWS), incorporating the latest technologies. Having been developed for the interdiction or destruction of mini/micro unmanned aerial vehicles and drones, explosive traps in urban areas and roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs). This system will also be introduced to the inventory in the near future.