Skip to main content

Does Turkey really need long-range missiles?

Turkey moves ahead with its plans to build its own ballistic missile capability.

In late 2011, likely to the pride of millions of Turks, the state scientific research institute, TUBITAK, announced that its scientists would soon finish a missile with a range of 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) and in 2014 another with a range of 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles). Another missile with an 800-kilometer range was ready for precision tests.

Professor Yucel Altinbasak, head of TUBITAK, said the order for the missile program had come from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “This is a most realistic project,” he said. An engineer from the institute’s missile project group told state television TRT, “Turkish missiles [are] more advanced than US or German missiles.” Turkey's efforts toward offensive missile capabilities come at a time when the country is also trying to construct its first long-range air and anti-missile defense architecture.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.