Turkey to develop thermobaric warhead
A recently leaked classified document involving a top (former) procurement agency official has revealed that Turkey has started development on a new type of weapon that utilizes thermobaric concepts. Authorities were not immediately available for comment to confirm or deny the new information..
The leaked document indicates that a specialized wing of Turkey’s Scientific and Technological Research Council, dubbed SAGE, has been charged by the country’s defence ministry with prototyping and testing of the new weapon following a high level defence committee meeting in 2013. Current status of the project is unknown, but the fact that the news surfaced while Russia accused Ukraine of illegally selling its missile technology to Turkey and a number of other countries has raised eyebrows.
Turkey is known for keeping its more advanced weapon systems classified for many years.
A thermobaric weapon is a type of explosive that utilizes oxygen from the surrounding air to generate an intense, high-temperature explosion, and in practice the blast wave such a weapon produces is typically significantly longer in duration than a conventional condensed explosive. The specific weapon Turkey is working on is presumed to be a fuel-air bomb, one of the most well-known types of thermobaric warheads..
These cause considerably more destruction than other similar explosives when used in lower altitudes or inside confined environments such as tunnels, caves, and bunkers.
The new thermobaric warhead is likely to be aircraft deliverable, but it is also expected that Turkey will make them an option on its growing inventory of surface-to-surface missile systems.