Turkey Gave Ukraine Laser-Guided Missiles – Even while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushes for Ukraine and Russia to resolve the conflict through diplomacy, unnamed sources told Middle East Eye this week that the country supplied Ukraine with dozens of TRLG-230 laser-guided missiles.
Turkey Now Giving Ukraine Drones and Missiles?
According to the news outlet, 50 TRLG-230 missiles were sent to Ukraine in the early summer.
The unnamed sources familiar with the matter confirmed a similar report from Oryx, a defense blog, which claimed on Monday that the weapons had been sent from Turkey to Ukraine.
While the report is still unconfirmed, some sources also claim that as many as 200 of the missiles have been sent to Ukraine so far – and that more could be on their way.
The fact that the deliveries were not announced does not necessarily mean that the reports are unlikely, however, given that Turkey’s deliveries of Bayraktar UAVs, electronic warfare equipment, mortars, and ammunition have largely been made without announcements from the Turkish governments.
Shipments of weapons from Turkey to Ukraine typically only come to light weeks after they have already been delivered.
In April, Turkish officials also confirmed that the country would assist Ukraine following the release of a list of requests from Kyiv. A leaked list of those requests revealed that Ukraine asked for Turkish air defense systems, including the Korkut self-propelled anti-aircraft gun along with 80,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as eight HISAR-O medium-range surface-to-air missile systems and 720 HISAR-O missiles.
At the time, Turkish officials expressed willingness to assist Ukraine but said that some of the demands were not realistic.
What is the TRLG-230?
The TRLG-230 is a laser-guided missile that can be launched from a Roketsan multi-caliber launcher artillery weapons system. The missile has a range of between 20 and 70km and can strike targets within a range of just 2 meters.
Reports suggest that the missiles may be intended to be used alongside the Bayraktar TB2, a Turkish attack drone that has been used extensively by the Ukrainians throughout the conflict.
According to arms expert Stihn Mitzer, the TRLG-230 missiles may be deployed with maximum accuracy using the Bayraktar drones to help pinpoint targets from a long range.
“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,” Mitzer said.
Video footage of the missiles already in action appeared on social media this week. The footage appears to show the missiles being launched from a Ukrainian position.
While continuing to arm Ukraine, Turkey remains committed to bringing the Ukraine invasion to an end through diplomatic measures.
“Out of the grain corridor, we can open a corridor of peace, and the best way for this is to go from dialogue to peace,” Turkish President Erdogan said at the weekend, referencing the recent decision to extend the grain corridor deal into the new year.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.