Turkey hopes to bring targets as far away as Cairo and Budapest within range of its missiles.
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's state-controlled missile-maker Roketsan is developing a long-range ground-to-ground missile and weapons system, the country's procurement office has announced on its website.
The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, or SSM, said that "deliveries continue on in line with the program's timetable." But SSM did not say if the deliveries were prototypes or the systems, dubbed "Bora." SSM did say the systems are required by the Turkish Land Forces.
An SSM official familiar with the program would not comment on the status of Project Bora, but said the end goal of the program is to earn capabilities to design, perform qualification and progress into serial production of the Bora system.
Security analysts say Turkey would eventually aim to produce ground-to-ground missiles with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers.
Some of the foreign capitals falling within that range if a missile is fired from Turkey include Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Belgrade, Athens, Kiev and Budapest.
"If Turkey makes verifiable progress in its 'offensive' [ground-to-ground] long-range missile system, this will inevitably have repercussions in the region. Some of the countries that feel politically and militarily threatened by Turkey would seek ways to develop or buy systems that would intercept the Turkish system. Secondly, they may seek ways to develop or buy their own offensive systems, sparking a kind of missile race within this very turbulent region," a security analyst said.
In 2016, Turkey's top procurement official and SSM chief Ismail Demir said Turkey might develop "offensive" missile systems in addition to its plans to build a long-range air and anti-missile defense system. He said the efforts to develop offensive missiles were meant to improve deterrence capabilities.
Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based political analyst and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.