Missile shield hits Turkey’s missile project

Emre Soncan
Following the approval of a missile-defense shield system at the NATO meeting in Lisbon last week, eyes have turned to a long-range missile defense system on which Turkey has been working on for itself; however the ambiguity over the details of NATO project has made Turkey to lay its project down to the table again.
Military sources who spoke to Today’s Zaman on condition of anonymity, said: “It is still not clear whether missiles will be placed in Turkish territory as part of the NATO project. If missiles are placed in our soil as part of this project, a tender which was opened for Turkey’s own missile-defense system could be postponed or the number of missile-defense systems that will be purchased may be lowered.”
In an earlier statement, Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül said: “We have low, medium and high missile defense systems. If the NATO’s missile-defense includes a significant part of Turkey, we can make a saving from the costs of our own project.” The United States joins the tender for Turkey’s own missile defense system with Patriot, Russia with S-400, China with FD-2000 and a French-Italian partnership Eurosam with Samp-T models.
The air defense system aims to eliminate threats of long-range missiles before they enter the Turkish airspace. The missile-defense systems are expected to be placed in Ankara and ?stanbul first.
The final decision about the tender of the project will be made by the Defense Industry Implementation Committee (SS?K) which is attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Chief of General Staff Gen. I??k Ko?aner and Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül.
As part of its long-range missile-defense system, Turkey plans to purchase four different defense systems from abroad. The bidding process for the tender has expired. Giant missile-defense system companies are making constant lobby work in Turkey to get the tender. However, the approval of NATO’s missile-defense shield project may foil the hopes of these companies.
Defense circles who say NATO might place missiles in Turkey as part of its missile-defense shield process, note that the conditions of the tender might change in such a case. It is said that Turkey may by only two missile-defense systems instead of four or it may postpone its project.


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