Turkish “Bora” missile sees combat use

In late May 2019, press sources reported that the Turkish military combat-tested the Bora ballistic missile during Operation Claw, a counter-terrorism campaign targeting the PKK in northern Iraq.

The incident marked a milestone for Turkey’s burgeoning defense capacity. Bora was officially unveiled back in 2017, at IDEF-17 exhibition, by ROKETSAN.

In May 2017, the missile was tested in the Black Sea port city of Sinop. At IDEX-2017 of the United Arab Emirates, this time, Bora’s export version “Khan” was unveiled. Impressively, within only two years, the ballistic missile saw its combat debut, showcasing the Turkish defense sector’s signature in producing high-end systems.

Originally, the Bora tactical ballistic missile is a product of Turkish–Chinese defense cooperation, centered on China’s B-611 baseline. In tandem, available writings trace back Turkey’s 300-mm MBRL (multi-barrel rocket launcher) and the J-600T battlefield ballistic missile to the above-mentioned bilateral military ties between Ankara and Beijing, inaugurated in the late 1990s.

Turkey’s new missile has a range of 280 km, and has GPS / INS guidance. Whereas the Chinese B-611 has a CEP (circular error probable) of some 50 meters, open-source evidence suggests that ROKETSAN has managed to reduce it to some 10 meters for Bora, making the missile more accurate. The missile can carry a conventional warhead with 450-kg payload. Considering the MTCR (missile technology control regime) restrictions, and given the fact that Turkey also seeks to export Bora, current specifications of the missile depict it as a reliable, combat-tested tactical asset.