A recently posted video on YouTube is perhaps the first video ever that shows a low-flying missile from the perspective of the missile itself. The video features a Roketsan Atmaca, Turkey’s very first locally produced anti-ship missile while it makes its way across the wavetops for hitting its simulated target. The name given to the low-flying missile family is sea skimmer.
Navies all over the world have armed themselves using the sea skimmer anti-ship missiles for decades. Owing to the curvature of the Earth, a low-flying missile is capable of staying off the radar of the enemy. The lower such a missile flies, the longer it can avoid detection from the enemy’s radar. A sea skimmer generally flies at the height of about thirty feet or less from the wave tops. This prevents enemies from detecting, tracking, and shooting the low-flying missile down until the very last possible minute.
A low-flying missile that is moving at 30 feet above the surface of the water gets detected by a radar placed 45 feet above the ground at only a distance of 18 miles. This means that the enemy has less than two minutes to take countermeasures against the missile that is moving at subsonic speeds. While all of this sounds exciting, very few have actually seen a low-flying missile in action.
That is where this amazing video by Turkish defense contractor Roketsan comes in where a camera was attached to a prototype Atmaca anti-ship missile. Atmaca is somewhat similar to Russian Kh-35 or American Harpoon II. It is blasted out from a storage canister via rocket motor that takes the missile to the intended height and speed. The rocket motor, once achieving its goal, falls away and the turbojet engine takes over. The missile also features a radar altimeter than enables the missile to fly above the water level.
The development of Atmaca started in 2009, and the missile is an all-weather weapon. It is equally effective against stationary and moving targets while being able to withstand the anti-missile countermeasures. It comes with a target update, re-attack, and task cancellation capabilities. The low-flying missile by Roketsan also has an advanced routing system (3D routing). The video quotes a range of 124-mile range, but there are reports that the missile has a range of 155 miles.