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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Italian-French group, Turkish firms awarded missile system study

Iran Press TV

Fri Jan 5, 2018 04:40PM

Turkey has awarded a contract for a study into the development and production of a long-range air and missile system to a European manufacturer of anti-air missiles as well as two major Turkish weapons manufacturers and contractors.

Turkey gave the 18-month contract to the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium, and its Turkish partners Aselsan and Roketsan, Eurosam said in statement released on Friday.

The three-country missile program, which announced on the sidelines of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's official visit to Paris and meeting his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, is scheduled to be ready by the middle of the next decade, and aims to defend against threats from stealth aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles as well as missiles.

"The joint development activity is expected to support Turkey's indigenous air and missile development program in addition to opening up prospects for exports and longer-term co-operation of Turkey, Italy and France," Eurosam stated.

Eurosam is the industrial prime contractor and system design authority for the development, production, marketing and sales of the Aster missile-based range of medium and long range naval and ground-launched air defense systems.

It is made up of European missile maker MBDA – itself a joint venture between Airbus and Italy's Leonardo and Britain's BAE Systems – and French defense contractor Thales, whose main shareholders are the French state and fighter jet maker Dassault Aviation.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık announced on July 14, 2017 that his country had signed an agreement with Italian-French consortium Eurosam to develop its national missile defense system.

According to the deal, Turkish companies and Eurosam will work together to produce SAMP/T Aster 30 missile systems, which is already in use in several North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries.

The minister described the move as one of the most concrete developments of Turkey's alliance within the defense industry.

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