Japan loses Altay opportunity to national policy

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T) has lost a potential deal to supply tank engines to Turkey because of restrictions that remain in place on Japan’s military exports, officials in Turkey and Japan said.

The development shows the limits of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s effort to dismantle a near total ban on Japanese weapons exports that has shut the country’s defense contractors out of overseas markets since World War Two.

Abe is pushing to ease the terms of Japan’s self-imposed weapons export restrictions in part to lower Japan’s defense procurement costs as part of a bid to build a more robust military to counter the rising regional power of China.

Mitsubishi Heavy had been under consideration to supply engines for the Altay tank being developed by Turkey’s Otokar (OTKAR.IS) since last year.

But on Thursday Murad Bayar, Turkey’s undersecretary for state-run defense industries, told reporters that the potential deal had been quietly dropped in talks with Tokyo.

“We have agreed with Japanese authorities to leave this topic off the agenda and focus on other areas of co-operation,” Bayar said.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had raised the issue of Japan’s co-operation in supplying tank engines when Abe visited Ankara in May. The approach by Erdogan sparked a round of talks between officials from the two countries and a visit to Turkey by Japanese engineers, officials in Japan said.

A spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy said the company had no comment because the discussions were a “government matter.”

Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, said on Friday that he was not aware of the status of the talks with Turkey but said any  agreements would be based on the policies that limit Japan’s military.

Japan, which renounced the right to wage war in its postwar constitution, effectively banned arms exports in 1967.

Under new guidelines being developed by Abe’s coalition government, exports would be approved by the trade ministry if they were judged to serve peaceful missions or if joint development of a weapon was deemed to enhance national security, a person with knowledge of the review has told Reuters.

But the more lax arms exports standards under consideration by the Abe administration would still carry a requirement that Japan be consulted before weapons using Japanese technology were exported to other countries.

Talks with Turkey on the Altay tank broke down on that point at the working level, officials in Japan told Reuters. Turkey has hoped to export the Altay to other countries.

In a deal announced last month, India became the first country to agree to buy military aircraft from Japan since the war. Under the preliminary deal worth an estimated $1.65 billion, ShinMaywa Industries (7224.T) would supply amphibious aircraft to India’s military.

Reuters

Azerbaijan to manufacture Turkish rockets

Azerbaijan and Turkey to sign final document on joint missile production in the near future.

The range capability of ROKETSAN-produced 107 mm caliber missiles is more than 11 km and 122 mm caliber missiles more than 40 km (twice higher than the former Soviet - Russian equivalents).
The range capability of ROKETSAN-produced 107 mm caliber missiles is more than 11 km and 122 mm caliber missiles more than 40 km (twice higher than the former Soviet – Russian equivalents).

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense Industry and ROKETSAN company of Turkey will sign a final document on the joint production of missiles at an Azerbaijani facility, Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) told Azerbaijan’s APA.

Technical issues on joint production have already been solved. Necessary measures are being taken to start the production.

SSM has not revealed when the final document will be signed.

According to the agreement, 107 and 122 mm caliber missiles will be manufactured at the Azerbaijani facility with the participation of ROKETSAN. The engines for these missiles will be produced by ROKETSAN, other parts in Azerbaijan.

Relevant discussions have been held since 2008. The range capability of ROKETSAN-produced 107 mm caliber missiles is more than 11 km and 122 mm caliber missiles more than 40 km (twice higher than the former Soviet – Russian equivalents).

APA

Turkish AWACS delay to cost Boeing millions

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing delivered the first airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to Turkey at the end of January.
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing delivered the first airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to Turkey at the end of January.

Turkey has demanded $183 million worth of services from U.S. aircraft maker Boeing as compensation for the late delivery of airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, a defense undersecretary official has said.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has requested an increase in the start-up support period from an initially planned two years to five years, as well as three years of software maintenance service and close to $32 million in spare parts, in return for canceling the $183 million delay penalty and accumulated interest, said Cemal Evci, a project director at the Undersecretary for Defense Industries (SSM).

He said the Boeing contract had been valued at $1.385 billion but that there had been a $59 million reduction, as some of the requirements were not met. He also noted Turkey had paid $637 million to Boeing in advance.

Under a July 23, 2003, contract, Boeing was to develop and deliver four AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish Air Force by 2008.

However, the first of the aircraft slated for deployment along the countrys Syrian border could only be delivered recently.

The AEW&C aircraft had arrived in Turkey for acceptance tests at the end of January and tests are to be followed by an inauguration ceremony Feb. 21 in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.

Last year, Defense Minister ?smet Y?lmaz had said Turkey would impose sanctions on Boeing for the delays, and the supplier and buyer parties have been attempting to reach a consensus over the cause for the delays for some time.

Some officials had said there were disagreements over whether the delays stemmed entirely from the companys shortcomings, or whether they were due to extra features that Ankara demanded be installed on the aircraft.

In yesterdays remarks, Evci said technological difficulties in developing some of the high-quality features demanded by Turkey led to the six-year delay.

The program involved the delivery of the 737-700 airframes, ground radars and control systems, ground control segments for mission crew training, mission support and maintenance support.

The 737-700 aircraft are to be used as part of Turkeys NATO capabilities. An AEW&C system is an airborne radar system designed to detect aircraft, ships and vehicles at long ranges, and control and command the battle space in an air engagement by directing fighter and attack aircraft strikes.

Used at a high altitude, the radars on the aircraft allow the operators to distinguish between friendly and hostile aircraft hundreds of miles away.

 

NATO head expresses concern about Turkey’s Chinese missile deal

turkish-HQ-9-sam-system(Reuters) – The head of NATO expressed concern on Monday over Turkey’s decision to co-produce a missile defense system with a Chinese firm, saying he expected Ankara to choose a system that was compatible with those of other allies.

Turkey has said it is likely to sign a $3.4 billion missile defense deal with a Chinese firm that is subject to U.S. sanctions, although its decision is not yet final.

The United States has expressed serious concerns to Turkey, saying the Chinese missile defense system would not work with NATO systems.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said choosing a defense system was a national decision.

“What is important for us is that the system acquired by the individual country … must be able to work and operate with the systems in other countries. I expect that Turkey will also comply with that,” the former Danish prime minister told Reuters, speaking in Danish.

“I of course expect that each allied nation makes sure of this. It comes with being a NATO member,” Rasmussen said, speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Copenhagen.

Rasmussen said he understood Turkey had not yet made a final decision and was still in talks on the new defense system.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said last month it favored China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp’s (CPMIEC) FD-2000 missile defense system over more expensive rival systems from Russian, U.S. and European firms.

The United States announced sanctions on CPMIEC in February for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

NATO diplomats say buying a system that did not work with NATO systems would hamper the ability of NATO allies to work together, undermining a principle of the 28-nation alliance.

CYBER CONCERNS

Some NATO diplomats said integrating a Chinese system into NATO’s defenses would raise cyber-security concerns and issues about NATO swapping technical data with a Chinese firm.

Turkey sees a growing threat of spillover from the war in neighboring Syria, as well as wider turbulence in the Middle East, and has been scrambling to bolster its air defenses.

Turkey has said the selection was not politically motivated, and that the Chinese offer met Turkey’s main demands of price and the ability to place much of the production in Turkey.

For China, the deal would be a breakthrough in its bid to become a supplier of advanced weapons.

Some Western defense analysts have said they were surprised by Turkey’s decision, having expected the contract to go to Raytheon Co, a U.S. company that builds the Patriot missile, or the Franco-Italian Eurosam SAMP/T.

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands each sent two Patriot batteries to southeastern Turkey this year after Ankara asked NATO to strengthen its defenses against possible missile attack from Syria.

By Mette Fraende

Milgem, Anka attract Brazil’s Interest

Turkey’s achievements in the defense industry in recent years continue to attract potential new partners such as Brazil, a leading emerging economy.
The potential for cooperation in a good number of projects in the defense industry is expected to be discussed by top-level officials from both sides as Celso Amorim, Brazilian minister of defense, is in Turkey on the occasion of the activation of the office of a military attaché at the Brazilian Embassy in Ankara.

I think we will discuss seven or eight [projects] and then concentrate on two or three of the projects, Amorim told Today’s Zaman on Monday. Buying arms from one another may also come onto the agenda, but the minister particularly stressed the potential for cooperation in joint projects, but noted that it is not possible at this stage to state which projects the two countries may work on together.

Turkey’s homemade corvette with stealth technology and the unmanned aerial vehicle (Anka-Phoenix) together with the attack helicopter Turkey has recently produced with the help of Italian AgustaWestland are some of the leading Turkish weapons Brazil seems to be interested in. You have a corvette which has very high standards [] very good helicopters. I think the UAV is [also] a possibility, said the minister of defense of Brazil, a country which has been busy redeveloping its own corvette. We can learn from each other and improve each other, added Amorim, a career diplomat who also served for many years as minister of foreign affairs.

For its part, the South American country is ready to cooperate with Turkey in areas in which it is stronger than Turkey, such as light fighter and civilian jets. Brazil has also been developing its own unmanned aerial vehicles with the help of the Israeli Elbit Systems. Brazil is very good at civilian airplanes, stated Amorim, who sounded hopeful about cooperation, but also noted that the two countries are at present at the learning stage, trying to get to know each other’s capabilities better.

Satellites may also turn out to be a potential field of cooperation between the two countries. Turkey has been making efforts to produce its own satellite, a field where Brazil, having already produced its own satellite some years ago, is stronger than Turkey. Even satellites.  Maybe we can look at it [for possible cooperation as well], the minister commented.

Turkey, having assigned a defense attaché to Brazil three years ago, is also eager to improve defense ties with South America’s largest economy. In an effort to boost bilateral ties, Turkish Minister of Defense smet Ylmaz also paid a visit to Brazil last year.

As part of the strengthening of relations between the two countries, the exchange of cadets and officers may also come onto the agenda. Noting that courses are usually offered in English at academies of most armed forces in the world, Amorim stated, So, we can receive people from your war colleges, [defense] academies and vice versa. Amorim was received by President Abdullah Gül on Monday and is also expected, on Wednesday, to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutolu, with whom he is known to have very good personal relations.

The Turkish defense industry has been developing by leaps and bounds in recent years. As per data from the Defense and Aerospace Industry Manufacturers Association (SaSad), the total industry turnover, including sale of items produced by the civilian aviation industry, reached $4.4 billion in 2011, while the total exports figure amounted to $1.1 billion in the same year. The defense-only figure, which is stripped of civilian aviation items, stands at $817 million. In 2012, defense industry exports, both civilian and military, rose to $1.262 billion, while the figure was only a little over $600 million in 2007, and $850 million in 2010.

As per the strategic plan of the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) for 2012-16, the industry aims to increase yearly revenue to $8 billion and exports to $2 billion by 2016. Presently ranked 16th in terms of turnover, the industry hopes to place in the top 10 in the world by 2023, the centennial of the foundation of the Turkish Republic. Turkey is also working towards the domestic production of fighter jets, with the first test flight expected to take place in 2023.

TZ

Erdogan acts to take away more clout from Turkish military

Turkey, fearing the prospect of intervention, has again reduced the influence of the military.

Parliament has voted to redefine the duty of the military in Turkey. On July 13, the ruling Justice and Development Party rammed through a bill that would end any military intervention in politics.

“The duty of the Armed Forces is to protect the Turkish homeland against threats and dangers to come from abroad, to ensure the preservation and strengthening of military power in a manner that will provide deterrence, to fulfill the duties abroad with the decision of the Parliament and help maintain international peace,” the amendment said.

The amendment was sponsored by the government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan amid fears that the military, which staged four coups between 1960 and 1997, could exploit the nationwide protests in Turkey.

Under the revision, the military, the second largest in NATO, would be restricted to defense against foreign threats as well as participating in international peacekeeping missions.

Over the last five years, Erdogan has steadily whittled away at the power and influence of the military. The turning point came in 2010 when much of the General Staff resigned in protest of Erdogan’s intervention and the arrest of hundreds of officers. Since then, the prime minister was said to have maintained direct control over the General Staff.

“Our country has a tradition of coups,” Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said. “And the true victim of the coups has always been the people.”

Parliamentarians said the legislation also fell in line with European Union demands to place the military under greater civilian control. They said parliament would consider legislation to place the military under the authority of the Defense Ministry.

The pro-military opposition also voted for the amendment. Parliamentarians said they wanted to rule out any chance of a military coup.

“As of now, I hope Turkey will no longer speak of coups and will develop its democracy,” Sezgin Tanrikulu, a parliamentarian from the opposition Republican People’s Party, said.

WorldTribune

Turkish, US Military Inspectors to Fly Over Russia

 

Experts from Turkey and the United States will make a surveillance flight above the territory of Russia on board a specially fitted Turkish CN-235 plane.
Experts from Turkey and the United States will make a surveillance flight above the territory of Russia on board a specially fitted Turkish CN-235 plane.

Military inspectors from Turkey and the United States will fly over Russia’s territory starting from Monday as part of the international Open Skies Treaty, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

“In the period between July 22 and July 26, experts from Turkey and the United States will make a surveillance flight above the territory of Russia on board Turkey’s CN-235 plane,” the ministry said in a statement.

Russian experts will also be on board the aircraft, to oversee the proper use of surveillance and filming equipment.

The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the deal in May 2001.

Under the treaty, each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with a sensor suite including optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, thermal infrared imaging sensors, and imaging radar.

The image data recorded during the observation flights can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control treaties.

RIA Novosti

Raytheon’s Mike Boots Explains Turkey’s Patriot Balance

A Dutch soldier standing by a Patriot anti-missile battery at the Diyarbakir military airport in southeastern Turkey. (AFP)
A Dutch soldier standing by a Patriot anti-missile battery at the Diyarbakir military airport in southeastern Turkey. (AFP)

TR Defence’s North America correspondent and acting editor-in-chief Hasan Karaahmet has interviewed Mr. Mike Boots, Patriot Turkey Program Manager at Raytheon Defense Systems, to shed light on some of the most common questions Turkish defense enthusiasts ask regarding Turkey’s T-LORAMIDS long-range air defence program.

Hasan Karaahmet: Mr. Boots, thank you for agreeing to talk to our readers. As a time-tested, battle-proven system, many countries around the world depend on the Patriot, both NATO and non-NATO. What is the driving force behind Patriot’s huge commercial success to this day?

Mike Boots: No other existing system has the proven combat experience of Patriot to engage evolving threats; and no other air and missile defense system has demonstrated the reliability and lower cost of system ownership. Patriot is the backbone of NATO’s lower tier defense, and as you know, Patriot is currently deployed in Turkey by NATO members Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

Hasan Karaahmet: What is the current level of deployment around the world?

Mike Boots: There are currently over 200 Patriot fire units deployed around the world with Raytheon’s 12 Patriot partners. More than 40 Patriot fire units are now in construction or are undergoing modernization.

Hasan Karaahmet: How about the US? How long does the US military itself plan on using the Patriot air defence system?

Mike Boots: The US Army has committed to fielding Patriot beyond the year 2048.

Hasan Karaahmet: What’s Raytheon’s policy on investments in Turkey?

Mike Boots: Raytheon has a long history working in Turkey — from ground based air defence systems like Stinger and Hawk to tactical radars like Firefinder and Sentinel. From our family of air-to-air missiles like AMRAAM and AIM-9 to naval command management systems like Genesis. Raytheon is committed to partnerships with Turkish industry.

Hasan Karaahmet: Any cooperation prospects in regards to Patriot?

Mike Boots: We are already working closely with several Turkish defence companies to produce Patriot components for export to other countries. For example, Aselsan is a key strategic partner for Raytheon on the Antenna Mast Group for the UAE Patriot system. Roketsan is also a key strategic partner, producing components of GEM-T missile for the UAE and Kuwait. Also, Pagatel is producing command and control shelters, and AYESAS is working on the command and control integration.

Hasan Karaahmet: Turkey’s Undersecreteriat for Defence Industries, the SSM, has adopted a procurement policy favoring local production and technology sharing. What are Raytheon’s views on this?

Mike Boots: Both Roketsan and Aselsan have been awardedRaytheon’s prestigious Supplier Excellence awards for the past two years for the excellent work they have performed on these programs. We anticipate increased global Patriot work share for Roketsan and Aselsan and have recently signed long-ter, agreements with these great companies for collaboration on advanced technology co-development projects in the area of high altitude missile defense. In addition to these strategic partner companies I mentioned, many other Turkish defence companies have the experience and skills we look for in our suppliers. As we win in other countries, they will get the opportunity to compete for additional work for those programs.

Hasan Karaahmet: Can the Patriot system be operated in conjunction with an Aselsan radar or launch a Turkish-made missile with comparable capabilities?

Mike Boots: Patriot can use data and information from a wide variety of sources and can interface with a variety of equipment, including missiles. We would need to know the specific sensors or effectors we are talking about in order to adequately answer that question.

Hasan Karaahmet: Does the US government or certain laws restrict the transfer of know-how on any subsystem or component of Patriot to Turkey?

Mike Boots: No! Turkey is a valuable ally of the United States and a NATO partner. Turkey’s T-LORAMIDS program fulfills an important NATO air and missile defence commitment.

Hasan Karaahmet: Certain reports appeared in the Turkish defence media indicate that the Patriot procurement has been tied to Turkey’s being granted access to F-35 source codes and the SM-2/Aegis technology for TF-2000 class frigates. What can you tell me about this?

Mike Boots: Intellectual property (IP) rights, such as software source codes, are often an issue to be negotiated in any sale of new technology. A customer’s desire for IP rights must be balanced with the rights of the inventor and owner of those rights through the negotiation process.

Hasan Karaahmet: Mr. Boots, how does Patriot compare to the other Western contender in T-LORAMIDS, Eurosam’s SAMP/T? What makes Patriot the better of the two?

Mike Boots: As I mentioned at the beginning of the interview, no other existing system has the proven combat experience of Patriot to engage evolving threats. No other air and missile defence system has demonstrated the reliability and lower cost of system ownership. Patriot is NATO’s lower tier defense with 200 Patriot fire units deployed around the world.

Hasan Karaahmet: In the past, we’ve published statements from mainly US sources that if Turkey opts for a non-Western solution, integration of the SAM system into NATO networks can be problematic. Can you explain to our viewers as to why this is the case?

Mike Boots: We have read and heard similar statements from various sources. NATO is very serious about protecting critical technology from falling into the hands of potential enemies. Patriot is a key element of NATO air and missile defence capability and works seamlessly with the NATO command and control architecture and other NATO defence systems. NATO would be very careful about what other systems might be connected to the architecture.

Hasan Karaahmet: What’s the future for Patriot? Is it going to continue to evolve with new capabilities beyond the GEM=T and PAC-3?

Mike Boots: The Patriot modernization roadmap will ensure Patriot remains the most advanced air and missile defence system in the world. If Turkey chooses Patriot for their long-range air and missile defense system, Turkish industry will have opportunities to participate in co-developing new technologies to help keep Patriot on the leading edge of technology.

 

Turkey to Sync Air & Space Power

Turkey aims to maximize its aerial firepower through several simultaneous programs, mostly indigenous, that better synchronize air and space assets.

The most ambitious program is locally designing, developing and building, with foreign technical support, the country’s first “national” fighter jet, dubbed the F-X.

Turkey’s procurement authorities recently decided to employ Sweden’s Saab, maker of the JAS 39 Gripen, to help shape their plans to manufacture the F-X. Turkish engineers, with help from Saab, have drafted three models that will be presented to top management at the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) procurement agency and the air force in September.

According to a draft plan, Turkey aims for its national fighter jet to make its maiden flight in 2023, the Turkish Republic’s centennial. Production will commence in 2021 and deliveries to the Air Force are planned between 2025 and 2035.

Turkey, whose fighter fleet is composed of U.S.-made aircraft, plans to buy the F-35 joint strike fighter.

“The F-35 will be the principal air power asset, with the Turkish fighter complementing it,” one procurement official said.

In January, SSM announced that it put off plans to order an initial two F-35s, citing rising costs and technological failures, although it said it still intends to buy 100 more in the long run. Turkey is one of nine countries that are part of the U.S.-led F-35 consortium.

Turkey’s plans heavily rely on several unmanned aerial vehicle variants that Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has been striving to develop. TAI will soon finalize a contract with SSM for the sale of 10 locally made Anka drone systems. The last of these passed acceptance tests in January, including a full endurance, 18-hour flight, successful automatic landing and data link performance at a distance of 200 kilometers.

Anka is the first medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle to be produced by TAI.

A more ambitious program involves development of an unmanned combat aerial vehicle, which would have longer range and function as a strategic bomber. TAI officials declined to provide details, citing confidentiality.

A Turkish air force official said these aircraft programs would be synchronized with numerous planned satellite programs.

“We aim to achieve an excellent interoperability between our aerial and space assets,” the official said.

One highly ambitious program aims to build a missile with a maximum range of 2,500 kilometers. In 2011, the Turkish government announced plans to develop that missile, not revealing whether it would be ballistic or cruise.

Although little information about the program has been released, a Turkish Cabinet minister in January confirmed that Turkey can produce a missile with a range of 800 kilometers.

State scientific institute Tubitak-Sage has been awarded the development contract and said it intends to test a prototype in the next two years. But while Turkish officials have indicated a desire for an independent capability to launch satellites, the military aspects of the missile program have not been released.

Earlier this year, the Air Force devised a national roadmap that will eventually lead to the launching of Turkish space command within its structure, a move that may be a boon for space-related procurement in the country. The space command will become fully operational by 2023.

As a first step, the air force is founding a space group command, or a de facto “aerospace force” unit that will comprise reconnaissance, early warning, electronic support, satellite command and satellite launching center departments.

Air force officials said the work and procurement under the roadmap would enable the service to perform reconnaissance and observation through imagery intelligence regardless of weather and geographical conditions; build a communications system for secure command and control; provide early detection of ballistic missile threats; and conduct electronic support for operational and warfare purposes.

The system will enable the air force to monitor Turkish and non-Turkish satellite activity and upgrade Turkish satellite programs.

Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said Jan. 3 that the government would start negotiations with state-run missile maker Roketsan for the early design phase of a new launch system “to ensure that military and civilian satellites can be sent into space.”

Also in January, Turkey’s top decision-maker in procurement, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, approved starting talks with TAI for domestic development of a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) spacecraft dubbed Gokturk-3, with support from defense electronics manufacturer Aselsan and Tubitak.

With a space segment composed of a single satellite equipped with a SAR payload, a fixed main ground terminal and mobile backup station, Gokturk-3 will provide high-resolution radar images from anywhere in the world in day/night, all-weather conditions, according to Defense Ministry requirements.

The Turkish military’s space-based assets are geared more toward intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Placed in orbit late in December was Gokturk-2, an Earth observation satellite designed and built by Tubitak’s space technologies research unit, Tubitak-Uzay, in cooperation with TAI.

Gokturk-2, launched Dec. 18 from China, encompasses 80 percent indigenously developed technology and 100 percent domestically developed software. It provides day imagery of 2.5 meters’ resolution. It is Turkey’s second national satellite.

The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data gathered by national assets, including Gokturk-2 and an unknown number of operational and planned unmanned aerial vehicles, will be integrated into Turkey’s command and control network.

Turkey plans to launch the next satellite in the series, Gokturk-1, in the next few years. Gokturk-1, under construction through a deal with Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, is a larger and more powerful optical imaging spacecraft capable of sub-meter resolution. Under the government roadmap, Turkey plans to send 16 satellites into orbit by 2020.

A space industry expert based here said the next five years’ satellite contracts could amount to $2 billion.

SpaceNews

Turkey May Adopt Chinese Air Defence System

China’s HQ-9 is strengthening its position in the Turkish long-range missile defence tender T-LORAMIDS.

Turkey is strongly leaning toward adopting a Chinese long-range anti-missile and air defense system, Turkish procurement officials said, even though it may be impossible  to integrate the system with its existing NATO architecture.

One senior procurement official familiar with the program said the Turkish government has concluded that the Chinese proposal was technologically satisfactory, allowed technology transfer and was much cheaper than rival proposals.

The decision to select the Chinese contender awaits final approval from Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The decision would be finalized and officially announced at the next meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Erdogan, which oversees major procurement decisions. No date has been set for the meeting.

In January, Turkey restructured the $4 billion program, dubbed T-Loramids, which had originally been constructed as an off-the-shelf purchase. The contenders’ bids would remain valid, but the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) procurement office would ask bidders to submit parallel, co-production solutions. Erdogan ordered the launch of feasibility studies on “potential co-production” of the system.

T-Loramids consists of radar, launcher and intercept missiles.

The same month, SSM wrote to the bidders and asked them to send letters of intent for any co-production deal. The bidders are a U.S. partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, offering the Patriot air defense system; Russia’s Rosoboronexport, marketing the S-300; the China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp., offering its HQ-9; and the Italian-French consortium Eurosam, maker of the SAMP/T Aster 30.

T-Loramids, has been designed to counter both enemy aircraft and missiles. Turkey has no long-range air defense systems.

But diplomats and analysts warn that Turkey may not be allowed to integrate the Chinese-Turkish system into Turkey’s mostly NATO-owned early warning assets.

“I cannot comment on how the [US] administration would react to that. But I can tell you that integrating a Chinese or Chinese-Turkish air defense system into NATO assets may not be a good idea,” a US diplomat here said.

A Western industry source  said that US officials have warned the Turkish bureaucrats several times about the potential difficulties in achieving interoperability if Turkey decided to go for a Chinese or a Russian architecture.

“I see that the Turks remain defiant. But I do not think it would be practically possible to integrate either the air defense or the anti-missile components of the planned Turkish-Chinese architecture into NATO radars,” a London-based Turkey specialist said. “The Turks would have the same problem if they chose the Russian system, but I think for the Americans, China represents a more direct threat.”

About half of Turkey’s network-based air defense picture (radars) has been paid for by NATO, said a Turkish defense official familiar with NATO work. They are part of the NATO Air Defense Ground Environment. He did not comment on potential problems if Turkey wanted to make the planned system interoperable with these assets.

To defend against missile threats, Turkey needs satellite and dedicated ballistic missile detection and tracking radar like the NATO radar deployed last year in Kurecik.

For the anti-aircraft component, Turkey needs an overall picture for data fusion.  The Patriot system, for instance, can detect threats with its own radar. So does the Chinese system. But without integrating into a full air picture,  the Chinese system could not work efficiently, officials said.

“Turkey can always decide to build a stand-alone system. But in that case, abstracting the air defense system from NATO assets would mean that Turkey will lose half of its radar capabilities,” said one defense analyst here.

He said Turkey would need interface data to make its own air defense architecture interoperable with NATO assets, primarily data on the identify friend or foe system.

“This is top secret and cannot be installed into any Chinese system,” the analyst said.

Another major question, he said, is “how would Turkey have in its possession a made-in-China IFF system, and how would that system be integrated into its fleet of F-16 aircraft?

“There is an important degree of incompatibility here and all in all any Chinese-Turkish co-production program would look problematic,” he said.

DefenseNews