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T-Loramids Long-Range Air-and Missile-Defence System - The China Syndrome

On 15 November 2015 Turkey rescinded a contract with a state-owned Chinese manufacturer that would have seen the company build Ankara its first long-range missile defense system. "The deal was cancelled," an official from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office told AFP. The USD-3.4-billion (EUR-3-billion) contract was clinched with China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) following talks with the firm in 2013. The deal originally raised eyebrows among other NATO members, which complained that the defense apparatus would lack the qualities enabling it to work in tandem with other such systems in the Western military alliance.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement on 17 Novembe 2015 that 'After detailed discussions, on November 13 Turkey decided to abandon the current project and develop its own national missile defense system with the use of its domestic resources'. Earlier, Turkish media reported that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had already signed a decree on the development of Turkish long-range missile systems.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview aired on private ATV and A Haber channels late on 18 November 2015, recalled that Turkey canceled the existing missile project so the country could focus on development of long-range missile defense system developed by indigenous means. The Undersecretariat of the Defense Industry (SSM) will work on this project and the project could be carried out either by opening a tender, which could involve China and or France, or by an intergovernmental agreement, Erdogan said.

NATO member Turkey chose a Chinese defense firm that had been sanctioned by the United States to co-produce the T-Loramids Long-Range Air-and Missile-Defence System, rejecting rival proposals from Russian, United States, French and Italian firms. With the decision, announced 26 September 2013, Ankara approved the lowest offer despite worries about the Chinese system’s ultimate compatibility with NATO-owned early warning assets. CPMIEC (China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp.) submitted an offer for its HQ-9 [exported as FD-2000] that included co-production solutions – which was requested by Turkish authorities. The contract was initially expected to be worth $4 billion, but a procurement official said CPMIEC, the Chinese manufacturer, reduced its proposal to around $3 billion. Turkey had long purchased its military hardware and gear from the US, Germany and its other Western allies as part of a policy of integrating its weapons systems with NATO military equipment.

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