Tensions are higher than ever in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. As a result, coastal defences can no longer be overlooked.
In a recent interview on CNN Turk, Roketsan CEO Murat Ikinci stated, “Atmaca and Cakir cruise missiles will be used together in coastal defence”. Indicating that truck-based Atmaca and Cakir cruise missiles will enter the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces. With the introduction of both missiles, Turkey will have one of the world’s most formidable coastal defence networks.
Though the two missiles are similar, there are some interesting differences. The Atmaca is a long-range (220+ km) anti-ship cruise missile with a 220 kg high-explosive penetrating warhead. It makes use of a variety of sensors to target enemy ships with great precision. Upon approaching enemy ships, it enters ultra sea-skimming mode to avoid detection. It has 3D mission planning capabilities and can disengage, reengage, or engage new targets via data-link. The Atmaca was purpose-built as an anti-ship missile, although a land warfare variant is in development.
In contrast, the Cakir is a smaller missile with a range of 150+ km. Unlike the Atmaca, the Cakir has many variants, including the Cakir AS (anti-ship). The Cakir AS has a warhead weight of 70 kg, which is significantly less than that of the Atmaca. Though as a new generation cruise missile, it has improved capabilities such as the ability to travel in swarms, along with all the features of the Atmaca. The Cakir is also highly versatile due to its compatibility with air platforms and small naval vessels.
The Atmaca and Cakir will form a nearly impenetrable zone stretching more than 200 km away from the Turkish coastline. The differences between the two missiles mean that they can complement each other, with the Atmaca targeting larger vessels from a greater distance and the Cakir as a force multiplier that can harass any vessel which gets past the Atmaca’s line of defence.
With the addition of coastal Atmaca and Cakir batteries, Turkey will further secure its “blue homeland”. Combined with the upcoming Gezgin long-range cruise missile and the Tayfun SRBM, the Atmaca and Cakir will be part of an impressive layered coastal defence network.