Lockheed Martin and Roketsan have signed a follow-on contract to finalise development of the Stand Off Missile-Joint Strike Fighter (SOM-J) cruise missile for the Turkish F-35 programme.
The SOM-J is a medium range, air-to-surface missile designed for use against heavily defended, high-value land and sea targets, such as surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, strategic assets, command and control centres, and naval vessels. The missile’s modular design supports the required operational flexibility. SOM-J will carry a single 350lbs blast-fragmentation/semi-armor-piercing warhead and have a range exceeding 100 nautical miles.
The two companies announced their partnership on SOM-J initial development in August 2014. The Lockheed Martin/Roketsan team will co-develop and co-produce the SOM-J for F-35 internal bay applications, as well as for various fighter aircraft with smart weapon external carriage capabilities. The contract calls for the two companies to collaborate on final development, integration and test support, with qualification occurring in early 2018.
“We forsee that in the changing era of fighter aircrafts F-35 will set a bench with the capabilities and technologies provided within. We provide SOM-J as a weapon of choice for the optimum solution for various missions by enhancing the precision strike capabilities and maintaining the survivability and maneuverability. Our partnership with Lockheed Martin will extend much further with the steps we take today,” Emin Alpman, Chairman of the Board at Roketsan, said.
“This partnership between Lockheed Martin and Roketsan will result in a highly effective weapon that will provide a valuable precision strike capability at stand-off ranges,” Frank St. John, vice president of Tactical Missile/Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, continued. “We expect this internal carry capability to appeal to not only F-35 customers, but also as an external carry weapon for other aircraft.”
The SOM-J provides enhanced capabilities by building on existing SOM air-to-surface cruise missile technologies already in service with the Turkish Air Force. The SOM-J missile uses Global Positioning System as its primary guidance and is aided by inertial, terrain-referenced and image-based navigation systems, as well as an imaging infrared seeker. SOM-J complements long-range weapon systems like Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).