Thesystem is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft.
This formal agreement builds on a previous announcement bylast year, that the SOM cruise missile will be certified and adapted as part of the F-35 weaponry. Both SOM and Norwegian Joint Strike Missile (JSM) are expected to be available for the F-35 along with Small Diameter Bomb II (GBU-53) and Joint Stand-Off Weapon – JSOW (AGM-154C1) and Israeli Spice 1000 for internal carriage, as part of Block 4 in 2021.
Missiles and Fire Control Executive Vice President Rick Edwards and Roketsan Chairman of the Board Eyüp Kaptan signed the agreement. The integration of SOM as part of the weapon mix of the F-35 was one of the demands posed by the Turkish government pursuing procurement of the F-35. In May 2014 placed an order for the first two F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, but has yet to fully approve the planned acquisition of 100 aircraft. The first two Block-3F configuration will be delivered in 2018, as part of the Low Rate Initial Production-10 (LRIP-10).
The SOM is being developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of
SOM is the first indigenous standoff attack weapon developed in Turkey. Prior to the introduction of this missile the TuAF was using the Israeli AGM-142 ‘Popeye’ standoff attack missiles on its F-4E Phantom strike fighters, which were also upgraded by Israel.