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Turkey supplied laser-guided missiles to Ukraine

Combined with TB2 Bayraktar drones, Turkish-produced TRLG-230 missiles could be used to pinpoint targets in fight against Russian invasion
A multiple rocket launcher fires TRLG-230 missile in an unspecified location (Roketsan)
By in
Ankara

Turkey delivered dozens of TRLG-230 precision-guided missiles to Ukraine in the early summer, two sources familiar with the issue told Middle East Eye. 

Developed by Turkish producer Roketsan, the 230mm TRLG-230 missile has high accuracy against targets within a range of 20-70 km, thanks to its global positioning system (GPS) and laser guidance.

The TRLG-230 can be combined with multiple rocket launchers, known as MLRS, whose American equivalent, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), has been very effective against the Russian forces in Ukraine. 

MEE understands that around 50 TRLG-230 missiles have been shipped to Ukraine, confirming what defence blog Oryx reported on Monday. One source said as many as 200 missiles could have been shipped so far.

Orxy said in an article that the guided missile could be combined with Turkey’s famed Bayraktar TB2 armed drones, which could pinpoint targets for the guided missile and help successfully destroy them within a range of 70 kilometers. 

Stijn Mitzer, an arms expert who runs Oryx, told MEE that Turkey was the first country to deliver such equipment to Ukraine, even before the United States had supplied its HIMARS, which first arrived in Ukraine in June.  

“TRLG-230 missiles are destined for pinpoint strikes on target, rather than firing a lot of them at once as with a regular multiple rocket launcher,” he said. 

Undated footage surfaced on Ukrainian social media on Tuesday night allegedly showing a TRLG-230 missile being fired in Ukraine, indicating that they are being used one at a time rather than in multiple firings. 

Footage released by the Azerbaijani military last year revealed that Baku had used TRLG-230s in the 2020 conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, where TB2s also played a central role. 

Ukraine and Turkey have close defence industry cooperation, a relationship that has flourished in recent years. The TB2's producer Baykar, which has close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s family, was building a plant in Ukraine before the war.

Ukrainian companies also produce the TB2's engines, and Turkey has sold dozens of Bayraktars to Kyiv over the course of the past two years.

Frequent flights between Turkey and Poland between February and April indicate that Turkey has continued to deliver TB2s and its MAM-L munition to Kyiv since the Russian invasion began.

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