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Turkey Test-Fires Secretly Developed Ballistic Missile

Turkey ballistic missile
Turkey tested a ballistic missile dubbed Tayfun. Public Domain

Turkey reportedly test-fired a ballistic missile over the Black Sea on Tuesday, which, according to Turkish media reports, has a range of at least 560 km (350 miles).

A video of the launch of the missile dubbed Tayfun, which was apparently fired from a mobile platform near the port city of Rize, was shown on Turkish media outlets CNN Turk and A Haber.

The Turkish defense industry, which oversees these weapon systems, did not make any announcement about the launch.

Turkey’s new ballistic missile has the longest range

Tuesday’s testing marked the furthest any such domestically-produced weapon developed in the country has traveled, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg.

Turkey has been working on the secretive missile project for several years, Bloomberg was told, stopping short of providing further details.

To date, the longest-range missile system Turkey possesses has been the Bora, a tactical ballistic missile developed by the Turkish company Roketsan.

Its export version is called Khan with a minimum range of eighty kilometers and a maximum range of 280 kilometers. It was tested and entered service in May 2017. The Bora-2 version with a longer range is under development.

Turkey’s growing defense industry has been a cornerstone of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s assertive foreign policy over the last few years.

In January, Erdogan said that Turkey aims to become fully independent in developing and producing military equipment and systems, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Turkey has reduced its dependency on arms imports, decreasing this by fifty-nine percent in the five-year period of 2016 to 2020, as compared to 2011 to 2015.

According to the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database, Turkey was the twelfth biggest exporter of major conventional weapons in the world over the period 2017 to 2021 with an increase of thirty-one percent compared to 2012 to 2016.

Its biggest customers were Turkmenistan with sixteen percent of Turkish exports, Oman also with sixteen percent, and Qatar with fourteen percent. Turkish exports of major conventional weapons consist mostly of armored vehicles, ships, and missiles.

In recent years, Turkey has become a major player in the international market for armed drones, most notably with the Bayraktar TB2.

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