Turkey in talks to locally develop long-range air defense system: Official
ISTANBUL - ReutersWork to develop an indigenous long-range missile defense system in Turkey has been ongoing, along with talks to take support from abroad, Defense Industry Board Undersecretary İsmail Demir has said.
“I said that we were open to offers that would accelerate us while this process was ongoing. There are countries and companies we had talked to in the past. They should disengage,” Demir told private broadcaster NTV on Aug. 5.
He noted that projects to develop low and medium altitude air defense systems have been in process, adding that the long range system can be viewed as a continuation of those projects.
Demir also reminded that Turkey attached importance to technology transfer in the cancelled tender.
“That is still on the table and it shows that the contact has been ongoing. As a result of this contact, our talk on what such contributions could be is ongoing. We have gained important ground. We know very clearly who can do what. It is being evaluated right now. The road map is obvious,” Demir said.
In addition, he also added that Turkey would likely purchase the first party of F-35s in 2019.
Turkey entirely dropped a tentative agreement to purchase a $3.4-billion long-range missile defense system from a Chinese company last year, ending a two-year saga over the deal, which had worried NATO allies.
Among the companies included in the cancelled tender were Eurosam, Lockheed Martin and CPMIEC.