Lockheed Martin, Turkish defense contractor agree to cooperate

Turkey's major weapons manufacturer to work on F-35 jet missile project with American multinational

Lockheed Martin, Turkish defense contractor agree to cooperate

Turkey's major weapons manufacturer, Roketsan, has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control unit to explore opportunities for co-operation.

The agreement, signed in Ankara on Wednesday, will see the two companies collaborate on the SOM-J -- a new generation of air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II.

The envisaged activities include developing, producing, marketing, selling and supporting the SOM-J for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft or external carriage on other aircrafts.

Ismail Demir, Turkey’s undersecretary of the defense industry, said that SOM-J missiles could emerge as a competitive option for the United States as well as other friendly and allied countries' armed forces. 

He said that shortly before the signing ceremony, he talked with the new U.S. ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, about Turkey's military cooperation with the United States.

Demir emphasized that cooperation must no longer be based on a simple customer-vendor relationship. Rather, it must now be based on co-production and joint activities. 

Roketsan’s Chairman of the Board, Eyup Kaptan, said: "As Roketsan, we believe this joint effort will increase awareness of the SOM-J and present an excellent opportunity to fulfill the requirements of the Anti-Surface Warfare capabilities on the F-35 aircraft.”

Rick Edwards, executive vice president of the Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control unit, emphasized that his company has a long history of partnership with Turkey. 

He said the “SOM-J will provide the F-35 and other aircraft with an exceptional capability to meet even the most challenging of mission requirements."

"We look forward to combining the skills and know-how of our two great companies to produce a world-class system to meet our customers’ expanding needs for long-range survivable cruise missile technology,” Edwards added.

The SOM System is an autonomous, long range, low observable, all weather, high precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The system is designed specifically for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft.

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Last Mod: 22 Ekim 2014, 16:30
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