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'One project still in progress with Israel'

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 11/4/2011 12:00:00 AM |

A project on the procurement of tactical surveillance sensors is the only deal still under way with Israel after bilateral ties plunged into crisis last year, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said.

A project on the procurement of tactical surveillance sensors is the only deal still under way with Israel after bilateral ties plunged into crisis last year, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said.

The deal was completed in 2007 without giving other details, the minister said as he briefed Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission on his ministry’s 2012 budget yesterday, Anatolia news agency reported. Joint projects with Israel over the past 15 years amounted to $2.2 billion, he said. In further remarks, Yılmaz said three out of five engines belonging to Israeli-made Heron drones that Turkey had sent to Israel for maintenance remained there and were expected to be delivered to Turkey in the shortest possible time. “There has never been a situation in which all Herons were inactive,” he said, adding that the drones had substitute engines. Turkish company TUSAŞ will from now on carry out maintenance of the drones, he said.

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