Mar 11, 2014
Turkey distancing from missile deal with China
Turkey’s defense procurement bureaucracy and industry are increasingly showing signs of weariness over a potential deal with a Chinese arms maker for the construction of the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile system.
Ankara may rethink its September 2013 decision to award the controversial contract to China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp (CPMIEC).
Turkish companies that would be subcontracted for the air defense system are skeptical about potential corporate consequences because CPMIEC is on a U.S. list of companies that are sanctioned under the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act, especially Aselsan, designated as the program’s prime local subcontractor.
Industry sources also says several unexpected technical snags had emerged during contract negotiations with CPMIEC.
Turkey has come under strong pressure from its NATO allies since it announced its decision over the T-LORAMIDS. Ankara said it had chosen CPMIEC’s FD-2000 missile-defense system over rival offers from Franco-Italian Eurosam SAMP/T and Raytheon of the United States. It said the decision was based on better price and better terms of technology transfer.
NATO and U.S. officials have said any Chinese-built system could not be integrated with Turkey’s joint air defense assets with NATO and the U.S. and that it may harm Turkey’s relations with the alliance.