Turkey has decided to eliminate Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) from the Göktürk electro-optical satellite project while announcing that it will conduct negotiations with both Sikorsky of the US and Italy's Agusta Westland for the procurement of approximately 80 multi-purpose helicopters worth around $1.5 billion.
Turkey will also locally develop modern infantry rifles and automatic rifles for the first time, said Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül yesterday, after a five-hour-long meeting of the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry's (SSM) Executive Committee, the top decision-making organ for arms purchases. Some of the major projects the SSM Executive Committee has decided to start contract negotiations on as well as new projects to be launched as announced by Gönül:
* For the acquisition of an electro-optical satellite project, talks will continue with Italian Tele Spazio, Germany's Ohb-Systems and Britain's EADS Astrium. Israel's IAI has been eliminated from the approximately $250 million project, most likely due to Israeli conditions such as the non-usage of military satellites over its airspace;
* A multipurpose helicopter project has been cancelled. Instead Turkey will conduct talks with the US's Sikorsky and Italian Agusta Westland for the procurement of over 80 helicopters both for the Turkish Armed Forces. The companies will increase their chances if they agree on building helicopter platforms in Turkey to boost the Turkish defense industry;
* Aselsan will be the main contractor and Norwegian Kongsberg the subcontractor in the acquisition of reconnaissance systems to be installed at the Aksaz Naval Base near Marmaris. The project is worth close to 50 million euros;
* A total of 16 Norwegian Kongsberg-made Penguin missiles worth roughly $40 million will be purchased;
* Modern infantry rifles and automatic rifles will be developed locally in two years' time;
* Four frigates code named TF-2000 will be produced locally with a project cost of $1.6 billion;
* Eighteen Mi-17 Russian-made helicopters will be overhauled in Turkey, and the company that will do the depot-level maintenance work on the helicopters will also try to secure the return of four Mi-17 helicopters previously sent to Russia.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Aralık 2007, 12:46