The Akkor Pulat domestic missile defense system will be ready for use by the Turkish military next month as part of the ongoing Operation Olive Branch, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said yesterday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the Afrin offensive against the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG), Canikli said that the domestically produced missile defense system is designed to protect tanks used in ground operations against missiles during Operation Olive Branch will be ready next month. "We will start the installation of the Pulat system onto tanks taking part in Operation Olive Branch at the end of the month [or] early April," Canikli said, adding that the work on the missile defense system has nearly been finalized. He said that the system was domestically produced by ASELSAN and that the system can provide protection to tanks even in close range attacks. He added that experts will carry out the installation in the field.
Canikli also said that the Pulat system may be installed onto other armored vehicles in time, as well. "Pulat is a milestone for the Turkish defense industry," he said.
Pulat is supposed to intercept close-range, anti-tank weapons and long-range, guided, anti-tank missiles by detecting them with high-technology radars at a definite distance. This way, it provides 360 degrees of protection for tanks on the battlefield.
Last week, Canikli said that around 91 percent of the weapons the Turkish forces are using in Operation Olive Branch were domestically produced. Turkish tanks have been targeted by Daesh during Operation Euphrates Shield and by the YPG during Operation Olive Branch. Therefore, the Turkish defense industry has taken action to counter this.
ASELSAN designs, develops and manufactures military communications systems, radar and electronic warfare systems, electro-optical systems and defense and weapon systems for the military and for export.
Turkey took a noticeable leap forward in the defense industry as it domestically developed military equipment and combat vehicles in almost all fields of warfare, most notably the Altay main battle tank, T129 ATAK helicopter and ANKA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The defense industry has started offering new products in 2018. The defense and aerospace industry has also seen an increase in exports.
Main and sub-contractors operating in the defense industry continue to add new products to their activities with contracts signed with procurement authorities. Turkey has moved its capabilities in UAVs to a new level. The first UAV capable of autonomous flight and navigation at night and day beyond the line of sight with satellite control has been made available to the Turkish Air Force.