According to Turkish media reports, Turkey is developing a version of Turkey's first domestically produced ATMACA anti-ship missile that will be compatible with the F-16 fighter in order to increase the Turkish fighter's anti-ship capabilities.
They were scared by the frigate KIMON
Shortly after the launch of the first Greek frigate FDI at the French Naval Group's French shipyard, Turkish media announce the start of development of an air-launched version of the Turkish ATMACA missile, which has so far only been adopted on Turkish navy surface ships.
However, it was recently decided by Ankara to develop new technologies for this weapon system, so that the ATMACA missile will form the backbone of the naval warfare arsenal of the Turkish armed forces.
Within this framework, the ATMACA BLOCK-1 anti-ship missile is expected to be integrated into Turkey's F-16 PO-III/PO-IV aircraft.
To make this possible they will of course have to adapt various parameters such as fire control, mission planning, technologies related to data linking, etc. However, the Turks hope that after the whole process is completed, their F-16s will be able to engage surface targets with their ATMACA missiles under their wings. At the same time, they will also have their SLAM-ER missiles for similar missions.
However, the Turks will try to do what the Americans did in the past with the Harpoon anti-ship missile. The US first developed this anti-ship missile and then unveiled the AGM-84L-1 Harpoon version, capable of being launched from airborne means. The Turkish equivalent called ATMACA Block-1 will be developed by a Turkish defence company called Roketsan, but there will undoubtedly be a huge gap between the performance of the US and Turkish weapon.
For example, it is already known that the Turkish anti-ship air-launched missile will not have a booster engine. As a result, the Greek navy is believed to have the means to counter it.
Who is the ATMACA anti-ship missile?
As for the initial version of the Turkish ATMACA missile, it is a guided missile, the development programme of which started in 2009.
The first missile was launched in 2019 from the MİLGEM TCG KINALIADA (F-514) corvette. The Turks say the ATMACA demonstrates a maximum firing range of more than 250 kilometers thanks to its active navigation, which consists of a radar on the weapon's head.