Turkey signs agreement to develop new SAM system with France, Italy
The Heads of Agreement document was signed by two Turkish state-controlled companies, Aselsan and Roketsan, and the Eurosam consortium, the Paris-based joint venture company that is co-owned by missile house MBDA and electronics group Thales.
Signature of the agreement was announced by Turkish defense minister Fikri Isik during the Bastille Day reception at the French Embassy in Ankara on July 14, and was first reported by the Anadolu news agency.
Sources say the initial agreement covers a 24-month definition phase funded by the Turkish government, and barring major problems will immediately lead into the full-scale development phase, which is projected to begin in late 2019 or early 2020 at the latest.
Eurosam did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment, and MBDA declined to comment.
The agreement with Eurosam does not mean Turkey is dropping plans to buy the S-400 Triumf air-defense system from Russia. ■