Turkey successfully tested its medium-range air defence system HISAR O+ from an autonomous missile launching system in Aksaray Shooting Range, the country’s Defence Ministry announced this weekend.

The missile system is developed by Turkey’s defence industry giants Aselsan and Roketsan, and is now ready to enter service.

“Our national air defence missile system hit the high-altitude high-speed target in the last acceptance test before entering the inventory,” Ismail Demir, the head of Turkey’s Defence Industries Presidency, said in a tweet.

The system has a 360-degree defence capability and can simultaneously engage at least nine different targets. It’s also effective against fighter jets, helicopters, air-to-surface missiles, and drones.

The HISAR O+ can intercept targets up to a range of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles). It has the capability to detect, track, and identify targets, and autonomously perform command and fire control functions.

In March, the country completed test firing of the mid-range air defence system, which is the longest range and the highest altitude test conducted to date. In July, the country announced HISAR O+ was about to enter mass production.

Turkey’s Missile Development

In May, Turkey tested its HISAR A+. This short-range air defence missile system is capable of protecting military bases, ports, facilities, and troops against aerial threats.

The country is now equipped with two surface-to-air missile systems in the HISAR family: the mid-range HISAR O+ and the HISAR A+ capable of hitting targets up to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles).

Last month, Turkey also test-fired its high-altitude, long-range air and missile defence system SIPER.

HISAR To Rival S-400 Missiles?

With its development of missile defence systems, Turkey is getting closer to acquiring an air defence system that could emerge as an alternative to Russia’s S-400 and the US’ Patriot air defence systems.

Russia and Turkey signed a $2.5 billion contract for four battalions of the S-400 air defence system in 2017, a deal that led to sanctions from the US.

The country also failed to procure American-made Patriot missiles after multiple attempts.