Turkish defense firm Meteksan Defense Industry have revealed their latest piece of military technology, a new ground-based laser weapon system named NAZAR. The company said that the laser will have its public debut at the 2021 International Defense Industry Fair.
The NAZAR system will be shown at the Meteksan Defence booth in the IDEF 2021 showroom. The NAZAR is considered a unique form of defense, and Turkey is one of the only countries in the world developing it.
The technology offers state-of-the-art laser “soft-kill” against guided missiles. Soft-kill countermeasures work to detect guided missiles and interfere with them before they have the chance to reach their targets.
The NAZAR’s broadband capability also allows it to perform reconnaissance and surveillance as needed. The NAZAR is also equipped with its own generator, allowing it to be portable and easily taken to any location. After the completion of the Land System, the NAZAR will be adapted to strengthen the Anti-ship Missile Defense (ASMD) of Turkey’s military ships.
The Meteksan Defense Industry develops technology across radar systems, perimeter surveillance systems, communication systems, laser and electro-optic systems, platform simulators, and underwater acoustic systems, primarily for the Turkish armed forces.
Meteksan works closely on crucial aspects of Turkey’s military, including its ships, helicopters, and air defense missile systems. The firm develops radars for their military vehicles and aircraft as well.
Turkey develops laser weapon system after series of US sanctions
Turkey is notorious for its robust military presence in the region. The country — a member of the NATO alliance — was sanctioned by the United States toward the end of 2020 after they purchased the S-400 missile system from Russia in 2019.
The US State Department released a statement in which the Secretary of State at the time, Michael Pompeo, said that “the United States is imposing sanctions on the Republic of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity, by procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.”
In March 2021, after Joe Biden had been inaugurated as President and Antony Blinken became the Secretary of State, Blinken urged Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to abandon the S-400 missile defense system, but Cavusoglu rebuffed him, saying that the system was “a done deal.”
“On the S-400s, we reminded them once again why Turkey had to buy them and repeated that Turkey had bought them and this is a done deal,” Cavusoglu told reporters in Brussels, where the two officials met on the sidelines of a NATO meeting.
The US State Department then imposed further sanctions against the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries, the government agency that had helped to acquire and manage the missile system, in April of 2021.