Imagine a supersonic flight, travelling at a lightning speed of 1,930 kmph, single seat, single engine, and stealth aircraft with a missile being able to engage targets at a range of 500 – 1000 km. Doesn’t it sound devastating? It does. The ginormous aerospace manufacturing company Lockheed Martin has joined hands with the Turkish company Roketsan for manufacturing missiles for the F 35 aircraft jets. The new SOM J missiles are to be used with the F 35 jets as mid – range cruise attacks. It will be a key factor to attack the targets on land, sea or air.
The F 35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin is a joint venture of Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, BAE Systems and Pratt & Whitney, one of the supersonic flights which favour several characteristics of short take-off, catapult take-off, vertical landing and stealth multirole fighter. It is known as the Lightning II because of the speed it can reach upto within a few seconds of the take – off, with its exceptional manoeuvrability and agility, great survivability and sustainability. The aircraft is the only 5th generation aircraft and if it meets a 4th generation aircraft, the latter dies. The future is now as the aircraft can have a 360 degree view of the battlespace and is a superior master when its airborne.
Roketsan has been one of the major manufacturers of missiles and armaments for the Turkish Armed Forces and also in the guidance control, propulsion system and warhead technologies. It has also been an important contributor for the country’s defence system and one of Turkey’s top 500 industrial establishments. The major missile of Roketsan has been the J-600T Yildirim, Roketsan Cirit, SOM cruise missile and various rockets.
SOM(Stand Off Missile) cruise missiles have been used against land, air and sea attacks and it has been efficient for a range of 250 km. The new version of the missile, the SOM J is a medium range cruise missile has been planned for using with the F 35. Lockheed Martin who has been an industrial partner with Turkey since 1984 has twinned itself with Roketsan for manufacturing the SOM J missile. According to the reports, the first SOM J missile will be manifested and tested on Turkish F 16. The leads of SOM J will be engaging long range targets by keeping the aircraft’s stealth competencies, which will eventually improve the aircraft’s combat skills. The missile has the features of GPS guidance, image based navigation system and imaging infrared seeker.
It would be a pleasure to watch the only 5th generation aircraft with the SOM J missile manifesting its superiority when it’s in flight.