Sunday, November 15, 2015

Turkey abandons decision to purchase Chinese missile defense system

HURRIYET DAILY - Sunday,November 15 2015

Turkey has entirely dropped a tentative agreement to purchase a $3.4 billion long-range missile defense system from a Chinese company, ending a two-year saga over the deal, which had worried NATO allies.  The decision was taken in the run-up to the G-20 Summit in Antalya when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama, CNN Türk reported Nov. 15.  The decision has yet to be finalized by the top Turkish government body for procurement, the Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSİK), but the move is expected to be announced this week with formal approval from the members of the committee chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The committee’s other members are the defense minister, the chief of the General Staff and the head of the defense procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).  The talks with China’s CPMIEC on the missile deal hit a stalemate over technology transfer, CNN Türk said, citing anonymous sources.  After the cancellation, questions remain as to how Turkey will meet its long-range air defense needs. Local defense companies such as military electronics specialist Aselsan and missile manufacturer Roketsan may be commissioned to fulfill such a mission, CNN Türk said, underlining that Turkey aimed to produce the system domestically with “national resources” in combination with technological support from a globally tested system.

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