Turkish defense industry authority seeks advanced cam makers
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsTurkey’s Under-secretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) has opened a bid to supply the country with locally made high-resolution cameras, following a failure to buy the devices from Israel or Europe, due to Israeli opposition.
According to an announcement on the SSM website last week, an invitation has been sent to local universities and institutions with the required degree of security clearance to bid for the deal.
The move follows Israel’s failure to provide Turkey with high-resolution cameras required for the Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod (TARP) program. A $300 million contract was signed in December 2008 between Turkey’s Aselsan, Israeli Aircraft Industries and Elbit.
Italy’s Telespazio, which won Turkey’s Göktürk military satellite program, was also supposed to provide the cameras to Turkey, but opposition from Israel is keeping it from handing over technology that works beyond a certain resolution. The matter has still not been resolved.
“Problems over high-resolution cameras have been a problem with Israel, and SSM eventually decided to resolve the matter locally,” said one procurement official.
“Replies from the relevant parties will be sent to SSM on April 27,” the SSM’s announcement said.
Israel fears that Turkey might sell these devices to Hamas or Hezbollah, one procurement official told the Daily News. The high-resolution cameras can be used on fighter jets, unmanned air vehicles or civil and military satellites. Israel has mutual agreements with several countries, including the U.S. and France, which restrict the sale of such devices to third parties.