Turkish Panel Could Postpone Antimissile Decision

Turkey's highest-level weapons acquisition panel appears unlikely at a planned July session to finalize its choice of technology for countering potential missile and aerial offensives against the nation, the Hurriyet Daily News reported on Saturday (see GSN, July 2).

Turkey's Defense Industry Executive Council, which convenes roughly on a quarterly basis, is slated next week to hold a session pushed back from two dates earlier in July.

“A few weeks ago, a decision may have been likely, but internationally the situation is not clear now,” a high-level acquisition insider said on Friday, weeks after Syrian forces brought down a Turkish military aircraft.

To fill the role of intercepting an enemy missile or airplane, Ankara has considered the Patriot antimissile system produced by the U.S. firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, Rosoboronexport's S-300 and S-400 systems, Eurosam's SAMP/T Aster 30 and the China Precision Machinery Import and Export HQ-9. The various options would require as much as $4 billion in expenditures.

The Chinese and Russian offerings are unsuitable for integration with NATO equipment, according to a significant number of Western government sources and specialists (see GSN, July 27, 2011). A Turkish purchase of either technology could result in its supplier nation gaining access to sensitive NATO data, potentially undermining alliance processes, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

Still, Ankara to date has said it is unnecessary to exclude either nation's equipment from consideration. The Turkish defense board's participants include Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Defense Minister Ismet Yılmaz, Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel and Defense Industries Undersecretariat head Murad Bayar (Ümit Enginsoy, Hurriyet Daily News, July 7).

July 10, 2012
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Turkey's highest-level weapons acquisition panel appears unlikely at a planned July session to finalize its choice of technology for countering potential missile and aerial offensives against the nation, the Hurriyet Daily News reported on Saturday.

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