SOM Turkish Cruise Missile & its possible integration with PAF’s Fleet

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SOM is medium range Air launched Cruise Missile produced by Tubitake Cage Turkish defense industries. SOM is compact, autonomous & Lethal standoff (SOW) precision Strike cruise Missile following Terrain hugging/Sea Skimming flight path ensuring confirm kill. SOM provides prominent operational flexibility in very compact manner with ability to strike Land & Sea Strategic well defended targets. Its advance guidance & control system gives it very high kill probability & is a good competitor to NATO standard cruise missiles.

Variants: SOM is produced in different variants meeting all mission requirements from simple target coordinate Variant to advance Guided versions with specific warheads.

SOM-A: Its first standard version of SOM family, using target coordinates for guidance.

SOM-B1: Advance version with multiple guidance systems and extended range.

SOM-B2: Specially equipped with high penetration warhead for highly defended targets.

SOM-J: Initially Intended for F-35 JSF to house it in its Internal Bays. (Stealth).

Range & Weight

  1. i) SOM-A weighs about 620 KG & has range of 250 KM.
  2. ii) SOM-B1 is 660 KG & has range of ~300 KM.

iii) SOM-B2 retains SOMB1 physical features but is equipped with dual-stage penetrator target.

  1. iv) SOM-J is quite modular & compact version of SOM family, thus low weight & range without compromising stealth capability of F-35 Lightening II. It has relatively smaller range of 180 KM range & weighs about 540 KG.

Engine

SOM initial variants were powered by TRI-40 turbo jet manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Later, $25m dollar contract was awarded to Aerokale to produce indigenous Turbo Jet & it is now equipped on new Variants known as Kale KTJ-3200.

Guidance

SOM latest versions i.e SOM-B1, SOM-B2 & SOM-J are aided with multiple guidance systems. Apart from GPS it is Equipped with Inertial Navigation System making it lethal against static target. High resolution Infra-Red Image (IIR) sensor and Automatic Target Detector helps to survive Jamming and Clutter issues.
Image Based Navigation (IBN) when pre-programmed check point images can reach a static target even with In case GPS degradation and denial. Two-way Data-link (DTL) mid-course guidance further adds to its lethality & enables it to switch between programmed targets.

LOW Observability

Terrain Reference Navigation which guide Missiles Pre-programmed check points & Radar Altimeter & Barometric altimeter ensures very low Terrain hugging & sea skimming flight envelope makes it very hard to detect along with Composite materials body.

SOM Cruise Missile & PAF

PAF’s F-16 can also be equipped with this platform as Turkey has also integrated it on its F-16s but PAF’s F-16 are mostly dealing COIN and Air Superiority missions & hence does not require such standoff munition at all. PAF has Equipped Mirage with Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCM) already meeting requirements.

Though SOM-J which is quite compact can be good option for JF-17 Thunder but confirm sources suggest that PAF is already working on RA’AD Variant for JF-17 Thunder & it is in final testing phase. Furthermore, it is speculated that PAF & TAuF have collaborated to further develop RA’AD Cruise Missile.

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