Turkey Develops Missile For T129 Helicopters

Turkeys first active laser-guided missile, the Cirit, has been receiving attention from other countries as well, Turkish executives have told the Anatolia news agency.

As successful tests continue, foreign armies have started showing interest in the air-to-ground weapon. Turkish officials expect a high volume of foreign sales after the missile meets domestic needs.

Used by Atak helicopters against ground targets, the Cirit performs well on light-armored targets. The missile uses a multipurpose warhead and an electromechanical control propulsion system.

Designed by Turkish company Roketsan, the Cirit is poised to become the most effective weapon of Turkish T129 assault helicopters, the agency reported, noting that the missile represents an important stage in domestic missile technology.

The missile can use two alternative warheads: The first is used to pierce armor or start a fire and also has a shrapnel effect, while the second only has a magnified shrapnel effect.

As of this year, the Cirit is ready for serial production, Anatolia reported. The missile has a range of eight kilometers, and will be installed in T129 helicopters that will be jointly produced by Turkeys Tusaþ and Italys AgustaWestland.

Roketsan was established in 1988 by a decision of the Defense Industry Executive Committee. More than 35 percent of the company belongs to the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, while state lender Vakýfbank has a 10 percent stake.

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