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Lockheed Martin, Roketsan to develop cruise missile for F-35s

A cruise missile for international operators of F-35 aircraft is under development.

By
Richard Tomkins
Representatives from Lockheed Martin and Roketsan of Turkey signed a contract to cooperatively develop the SOM-J air-to-surface cruise missile for international operators of the F-35. Photo courtesy Roketsan
Representatives from Lockheed Martin and Roketsan of Turkey signed a contract to cooperatively develop the SOM-J air-to-surface cruise missile for international operators of the F-35. Photo courtesy Roketsan

LONDON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A mid-range standoff cruise missile for use on F-35 fighters is being developed by Lockheed Martin and its Turkish partner, Roketsan.

The SOM-J will feature GPS guidance, aided by inertial, terrain-referenced and image-based navigation systems and an imaging infrared seeker. It will be based on the SOM missile developed by the Defense Research and Development Institute of Turkey and operational with the Turkish Air Force.

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Roketstan is licensed by the Turkish institute to produce and market the SOM.

Lockheed Martin said the agreement of cooperation with Roketstan allows the two companies to build upon an earlier technical assistance agreement and will make the SOM-J missile available to international customers.

"SOM-J integration on the F-35 will enable pilots to engage targets from long ranges while maintaining the aircraft's critical stealth capabilities," said Frank St. John, vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

"This contract signing, and subsequent approval of the Technical Assistance Agreement, continues our strong relationship with Lockheed Martin," said Emin Alpman, chairman of the board at Roketsan. "Offering SOM-J to the international F-35 marketplace will bring critical business to Turkey and provide an important capability to allied nations."

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