The Atmaca, will replace the country’s aging inventory of American-made Harpoon missiles.

As a long-range, low-flying and highly sensitive missile, Atmaca is ready to be equipped on Turkey’s advanced naval platforms and is expected to open a new era for anti-ship missiles launched from warships or the ground. The Atmaca, will replace the country’s aging inventory of American-made Harpoon missiles. An official from state-controlled missile-maker Roketsan, a co-producer of Atmaca, said that the weapon will replace more than 350 Harpoons in the next two to three years, starting with ships under maintenance and upgrade programs.

Roketsan won the development contract from the Turkish government in 2009. In 2018, Roketsan teamed up with military-electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense firm, to jointly manufacture Atmaca, which incorporates features of the Harpoon and French Exocet missiles. The Roketsan official said Turkey aims to save up to $500 million from the Atmaca replacement program, as the homemade missile comes in at around half the price of a Harpoon.

Atmaca is a subsonic, sea-skimming anti-ship missile with a range exceeding 220 kilometers. It features a 250-kilogram-class high-explosive fragmentation warhead. It reportedly has a high resistance to countermeasures and features all-weather capabilities, a target updating and mission termination facility, and a comprehensive mission planning system with 3D routing. The missile is effective against sea targets in open or coastal waters, as well as against shore-based targets. During tests, Atmaca cruised at an altitude as low as 3 meters.

The missile makes use of its global positioning system (GPS), inertial navigation system, barometric altimeter and radar altimeter to navigate towards its target, while its active radar seeker pinpoints the target with high precision. With a range of more than 220 kilometres (140 mi), this guided missile poses a major threat for targets situated beyond the line of sight due to its high explosive fragmentation warhead. Its modern data-link provides ATMACA with the ability to 3D mission planning, update targets, reattack and terminate the mission.

Roketsan says the system is autonomous, has a low radar cross section, can operate in all weather conditions, and features resistance to countermeasures. The Atmaca can fall between 4.3 meters and 5.2 meters in length. It weighs 750 kilograms (1,653 pounds) and has a  220 kilograms warhead.

Roketsan’s ATMACA Anti-Ship Missile can only be detected by the target platform at a distance of 18-20 kilometres due to its low radar cross-sectional area and Super Sea Skimming, which means that it can fly close to the water surface. Based on ATMACA’s speed of Mach 0.85, this gives the crew of the target ship a very limited reaction time.

During a test conducted on 18 June 2021, the ATMACA Missile was fired from the KINALIADA Corvette and hit a real ship target for the first time. The target ship sank after being hit by the ATMACA Missile. In the recent past, ATMACA officially entered the Turkish Navy inventory as a result of low-rate production.

Turkey will likely equip I-class frigates, the upgraded Barbaros-class Meko 200 TN and Ada-class corvettes with the Atmaca. The land variant, known as the Kara Atmaca, is a jam-resistant, long-range cruise missile system launched on tactical wheeled vehicles.

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