On June 3, 2o16 Roketsan and MBDA Deutschland GmbH have signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] to extend their cooperation towards integration of 70mm [2.75 inches] Laser Guided Missile CİRİT on EC665 TIGER UHT Helicopters.
Companies have agreed on the way forward and defined responsibilities. Signing ceremony held during ILA AirShow 2o16 in Berlin, Germany and also attended by officials from Undersecretariat for Defence Industries [SSM].
Development of the CIRIT Semi Active Laser [SAL] guided air-to-surface missile began in 2oo4 and its first tests were conducted in 2oo6. The missile has been in serial production since 2o11. In use with Turkish Army AH-1W SuperCobra Helicopters since May 2o12 and already integrated with T129 ATAK Helicopters, CIRIT is designed to fill the gap between cheap and non-accurate unguided rockets and expensive guided anti tank missiles based on Turkish Armed Forces requirements. It is effective against lightly armoured stationary and fixed targets.
At 1.9m length and weighing 15kg, the CIRIT has an engagement envelope of 1.5km to 8km and could be launched from either manned or unmanned aerial vehicles and ground and naval platforms against stationary or moving targets in day and night conditions. Armed with 3kg warhead [could penetrate 250mm thick of armour] the CIRIT can be fired either from a smart or standard launcher. With a fly-out speed of Mach 1.8, the CIRIT reaches 8km range in less than 25 seconds. The CIRIT can be guided to the target either via semi active laser seeker or by entering target coordinates [fixed] via hand terminal, in that case there is no need to deploy expensive laser seeker on the rocket. Existing guidance system allows the gunner to fire rocket at lock-on-after launch mode. A smart launcher dubbed as CIRIT Smart Pod System [CAPS], two-tube and four-tube configuration, has been developed for T129 ATAK Helicopters of the Turkish Army. Roketsan had also won a contract from the UAE to sell the CIRIT System, worth US$196.2 million, making the Emirati Army the first foreign customer for system. Royal Bahraini Air Force AH-1E Cobra Helicopters are also expected to be equipped with CIRIT Missiles.
CIRIT, designed as the main weapon system of T129 ATAK Helicopter, is already integrated and operationally used by AH-1W SuperCobra Helicopters of the Turkish Army, AT-802i ArcAngel Border Patrol Aircraft of the UAE Armed Forces and on EC635 Light Combat Helicopter. CIRIT is also integrated on vehicle mounted weapon stations, autonomous stationary/mobile weapon platforms, stabilized naval weapon platforms for patrol boats and Tactical UAV.
CIRIT System elements is designed for the concept of a helicopter launched air-to-ground weapon system, with strapdown semi-active laser seeker, IM motor with reduced smoke propellant, IM tri-mode warhead and electro-mechanical control actuation system.
According to Roketsan officials CIRIT was attracting significant interest from potential export customers, and in this context the company is working with several original equipment manufacturers on potential applications.