Turkey to go ahead with non-NATO-integrated Chinese missile defense

A U.S. soldier stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery at an army base in Morag, Poland. Turkey's government requested the deployment of NATO's Patriot surface-to-air missiles in 2012.(File Photo:AP)

Turkey will go ahead with plans to order a $3.4-billion missile defense system from China, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said, despite U.S. and NATO concerns over security and compatibility of weaponry.

Yilmaz said in a written response to a parliamentary question published on Thursday that Ankara will use the long-range system without integrating it with NATO’s system.

Turkey originally awarded the tender to China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp in 2013, prompting U.S. and NATO officials to say the deal could raise questions over security.

Turkey later said it was in talks with France on the issue, but Yilmaz said no new bids had been received.

“The project will be financed with foreign financing. Work on assessing the bids has been completed and no new official bid was received,” the minister said.

“The system in question will be integrated with the national system for Turkey’s defence and will be used without integrating with NATO,” he added.

Eurosam, which is owned by Franco-Italian missile maker MBDA and France’s Thales, came second in the tender.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
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