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LEVENT Air Defence Missile to Answer Different Needs

LEVENT Air Defence Missile to Answer Different Needs

During DIMDEX 2024, TurDef learned that the LEVENT missile would not be singular but has multiple variants to answer the needs of different service branches.

The missile is being developed primarily for point defence to intercept incoming anti-ship missiles and aircraft. For this purpose, the missile will be fitted with IIR and passive RF guidance, allowing for a second source of homing onto the anti-ship missiles through the emissions from RF seekers.

However, the missile is set to serve on other platforms, such as helicopters as well. This is likely to extend to air defence systems such as BURÇ and UCAVs like AKINCI and even KIZILELMA. Some modifications are likely to come for use as an air-to-air missile or ground-based air defence missile. The first of these would be the removal of passive RF guidance and the replacement of folding fins to lower the costs. The usual target set of air platforms and ground-based air defence systems don’t include anti-ship missiles with RF seekers. Thus, passive RF guidance can be considered dead weight for these uses. Folding fins are also more complicated to manufacture because of their high tolerances.

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Compared to SUNGUR, which has an 8 km range, LEVENT, as an air-to-air or ground-based air defence missile, would have a longer range at 11+ km and increased lethality.

In the case of helicopters, air-to-air missiles like AIM-92 Stinger are carried in small numbers for self-defence against other helicopters. Compared to MANPADS-based missiles, LEVENT can allow engagements at longer ranges, and this might be especially useful when the adversary has helicopters equipped with air-to-air missiles in the same class as Stinger.

Due to altitude and speed factors, the range of missiles launched from UCAVs is likely to be longer. In addition to being able to engage helicopters and UAVs when launched from UCAVs like AKINCI, the missile has the potential to serve as a lightweight air-to-air missile for KIZILELMA unmanned combat aircraft with a weight of 70 kg.

The previous President of the Defence Industry Agency İsmail Demir gave a hint about SUNGUR being considered for KIZILELMA unmanned combat aircraft during the signing of SUNGUR’s integration on Bayraktar TB2 and AKINCI UCAVs in SAHA EXPO 2022.