Lockheed Teams With Turkey’s Roketsan For F-35 Missile
Lockheed Martin and Turkish company Roketsan are teaming up to develop a next-generation, air-to-surface standoff cruise missile for the F-35 fighter jet.
The new SOM-J will be integrated into the F-35’s internal weapons bay, according to a Sept. 16 Lockheed press release. SOM-J integration into the fighter jet is scheduled for follow-on development software, Block 4, which will come online in the 2020s.
The companies will conduct early live flight testing on Turkish F-16s.
SOM-J provides pilots enhanced capability to engage targets from long ranges, while still maintaining the F-35’s stealth capabilities, according to the statement. SOM-J is a smaller version of the subsonic SOM missile, which the Turkish Air Force has been using since 2011.
The recent contract agreement enables the two companies to move forward with a Technical Assistance Agreement, which makes the SOM-J missile available to international customers.