Turkey stresses priority of technology transfer in missile deal
ANKARAAlready having developed its own genuine technologies in recent years, Turkey has been prioritizing its technology transferring opportunity in bilateral agreements, a minister has stated, in a reference to Ankara’s selection of a Chinese firm for the production of a long-range missile defense system.
“There are conditions in newly released tenders. They are being prepared in a way which will give opportunity to the transfer of new technology. If a country is not allowing for the transfer to go ahead, then you say ‘No offense, we can’t buy it from you,’” Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün was quoted as saying by the Anadolu Agency in remarks delivered to Samanyolu Haber news channel on Nov. 1.
“Turkey has implemented policies which facilitate and streamline the technology transfer and proposed co-production [of the missile defense system,” Ergün said. “Contracts which meet these production conditions are becoming more important for us.”
Ergün’s remarks came only a day after Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said that Turkey is open to new offers from other companies for contract discussions on the long-range missile defense system, despite Ankara’s controversial selection of China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) for the project.
Turkey announced in September that it had chosen China’s FD-2000 missile defense system over rival systems from Franco/Italian Eurosam SAMP/T and Raytheon. It said CPMIEC offered the most competitive terms and would allow co-production in Turkey.
Turkey’s decision to choose a $3.4 billion Chinese offer over rival Russian, U.S. and European bidders has raised concern among Turkey’s Western allies and NATO.
Turkey has “strong arguments” against such objections, Ergün said.
“Turkey is claiming its right,” he added, indicating that those countries objecting to the Chinese option have actually been putting “pressure” for a positive result in the tender process.
Nevertheless, Ergün noted as well that the associated bidding process had yet to be completed.
CPMIEC is under U.S. sanctions for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria non-proliferation Act. NATO is also worried about Turkey buying a system not compatible with those of other member states, potentially undermining a core principle of the 28-nation alliance.
The sources said Turkey’s missile defense deal could also affect its plans to buy radar-evading F-35 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, which also builds the PAC-3 missiles used by the Patriot missile defense system.