Roketsan, was founded in 1988 by the resolution of the Defense Industries Executive Committee for the purpose of “possessing a leading institution in the country for designing, developing and manufacturing rockets and missiles” the first production project of which had been the manufacture of propulsion system of Stinger missiles within the frame of “Stinger European Joint Production Project” which was an international program.
Under the Stinger Project, the production of composite fueled launching and flight motors, one of the critical subsystems of the missiles, was undertaken by Turkey. It was because the composite solid fuel technology was not available in Turkey at the time, Ministry of National Defense (MSB) resolved to establish a new corporation for producing composite fueled launching and flight motors. As a result of this resolution and the existing demand, Roketsan was founded on 14 June 1988 to enable the Defense Industries Executive Committee to meet the rocket and missile requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Roketsan, has not only met the requirements of the Stinger Consortium fully in time, thanks to the correct strategies adopted to realize the objectives of its foundation, but also succeeded in transforming the transferred technologies into new products, using the brain power it has developed to the benefit of our country and passing well beyond that intermediary goal, has become a highly specialized national industry in the field of rockets/missiles. During the autumn of 1988, following the resolution taken in the summer of the same year, the work started in a hired building in İskitler sector in Ankara, with a skeleton team of 25, with limited experience in defense industries but highly enthusiastic about the national duty assigned to themselves. Along with the planning and preparation work oriented towards the requirements of European Stinger consortium, construction of facilities was started on an approximately 1000 Ha area in Elmadağ, an arid piece of land at that time, the proprietorship of which was transferred first from Machinery and Chemical Industries Inc. (MKEK) to the Undersecretariat of Defense Industries (SSM) and then leased to Roketsan by SSM. Early in 1989 land leveling and preparation work started in the area whereas the construction of the buildings and infrastructure necessary for the production was completed in 1991. Following the completion of the production facilities, 38 motors were produced as a pilot lot without any defect and delivered to the consortium before the assigned delivery period expired. In line with the provisions of the contract the production of launching and flight motors of Stinger missiles was commenced. Roketsan, realizing the production and the exportation of propulsion system to meet the requirements of all the countries which are members of the consortium, has become the owner of the second big slice of the business among the 15 member countries participating in the program.
What are more important than the economical benefits obtained is the countless advanced technologies and experience gained which our country needs, the major one among tem being the composite fuel motor technology. Such gains have constituted the infrastructure needed for the succeeding projects. A great number of engineers who were employed in the Engineering Development Unit established early in the foundation process, with their Stinger Project experience have digested the technologies they acquired in later National and NATO projects and have been skilled in using this infrastructure in designing original products. Roketsan, regarded as questionable and undependable by the other member countries of the consortium in the early stages of the Stinger Project because it lacked the experience and facilities, later became the first company to complete the production line qualification with great success under the patronage and the support of MSB; effected shipments with zero defect before the deadline of the program and, thus, earned the respect of all program and gained the confidence and credibility necessary for the consequent potential projects. By the completion of the missile design infrastructure development project in 1995 which had been started in 1992, for the purpose of training competent personnel necessary for designing rockets and missiles as well as developing design tools, “design focused” era began for Roketsan. Thanks to the infrastructure formed, aiming at becoming the party responsible from the system, design, development and production of originally designed, composite fueled TR-107 Rocket with a range of 11 km and TR – 122 Rocket with a range of 40 km as well as Sakarya Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) Weapon System were realized for satisfying the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces before the Stinger Project was completed in 1999, all the foregoing weapons being much more developed than their equivalents all over the world. Inclusion of this weapon system and the rockets in the inventories of the Land Forces Command in 1996 became a significant milestone both for Roketsan and Turkish Armed Forces.
The production infrastructure was strengthened and diversified for the purpose of realizing the projects initiated by the Ministry of National Defense towards the end of the 90’s produce long range rockets and missiles which were going to increase firing power of our Land Forces in depth. As a result of these efforts during which new technologies were acquired, Kasırga Rocket and Weapon System and Yıldırım Missile and Weapon System were included in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces.
During the 2.75” Laser Guided Missile CİRİT project which was initiated by the Ministry of National Defense in 2004 to meet the requirement of the Land Forces, advance technologies were developed such as Laser Guidance, Intermediate Stage Guidance, Insensitive Rocket Motor and Insensitive Warhead, as a result of the completely original design studies, those different than of their equivalents all over the world.
Early in 2004, export contract were signed for rockets and weapon systems produced according to original designs and with the skills developed in the past. Thus, product and service sales to foreign countries were started at system level.
In 2005 and after, an extensive industrial structure was formed under the prime contractorship of Roketsan, by means of the project agreements concluded within the frame of the studies conducted for the development of original missile systems, Long Range Anti-Tank Missile UMTAS, Medium Range Anti-Tank Missile OMTAS and Towed Low Altitude Air Defense Missile System, started and currently supported by SSM. Moreover, in these projects technologies such as On Board RF Data Link, Imager Infrared (IIR) Seeker Head, Insensitive Tandem War Head and Platform Integration have been acquired. Intermediate Guidance technologies were carried even further with the Insensitive Rocket Motor developed during the studies for Multi-Stage propulsion System and CİRİT Missile.
The setting up work the Ballistic Protection Center (BKM) housing the infrastructure required for the design, development, production and testing of the armor of ALTAY National Tank as well as various armor systems started in November 2009 in line with the agreement concluded between SSM and Roketsan was completed by Roketsan and the facility was commissioned on 28 November 2010.
CİRİT missile, produced under the production contract signed in 2011, after the product and production line qualification procedures are completed as the first missile system with an original design, was introduced to TSK inventory in May 2012. Another significant development in the history of Roketsan has been the integration of Tapasan into our body. Fuze is one of the important subsystems for rockets and missiles as well as other types of munitions. Tapasan A.Ş. (Fuze Industries Inc.) which had been established to meet the fuze requirements of TSK as an affiliate of TSKGV (Turkish Armed Forces Strengthening Foundation) merged with Roketsan in June 2012.
Roketsan which started operations in 1988 with a skeleton team is rapidly going forward today to become a global company in defense industries sector with personnel of more than 2700, 52 % of which comprise engineers and its accumulation of technologic knowledge.
Since the day it was established Roketsan has, as dictated by the mission it has undertaken, acquired the skills in designing and producing rocket / missile systems nationally and in line with demands, those including design and technology infrastructure development projects, product development and production programs, in training the users and in meeting the logistic support requirements of weapon systems.
As it with all the other defense industry establishments all over the world, Roketsan has also targeted at widening its product range to cover Land, Air and Sea Weapon Systems, to sustain its existence and for this purpose, has undertaken assignments in a number of national and international projects or also become a candidate for such roles.
Roketsan, the very first establishment process was started in 1988 on a barren piece of land in Elmadağ/Ankara, has become a corporation, the operations of which now extend beyond the borders of the country, which participates in NATO programs in its field of technology and which is capable of supplying its products to friendly countries besides the Turkish Armed Forces.
We are confident that we owe this great achievement to the close cooperation of Roketsan personnel and the specialized personnel of Turkish Armed Forces in all the projects. We aim at adhering to this particular concept and achieve the most favorable solutions by cooperating with the users in our country and those in all friendly countries.