Wednesday, December 9, 2009

China, Russia decline to bid for Turkey’s missile project

China and Russia have declined to bid for Turkey’s long-range air and missile defense systems (T-LORAMIDS) project, seeking state-to-state negotiations instead, local defense industry sources have said. The deadline for the companies to bid in the project terminated on Dec. 1, and only the US team of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin had submitted a proposal.

When China and Russia declined to bid for the project, the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) extended the deadline to Jan. 15 with the aim of creating competition in this costly missile acquisition project instead of buying the systems from one available source, the Raytheon and Lockheed Martin team. Since mid-July, this has become the fourth deadline extension for the companies to bid for Turkey’s request for proposals issued in April for the acquisition of missiles.

Since the start of the project in April 2007 when the SSM issued a request for information to evaluate the price and availability of the systems, Russia has sought exclusive state-to-state negotiations with Turkey instead of bidding in a tender. The decision not to bid in the project offering and instead wanting state-to-state negotiations came as a surprise to Turkish officials.

Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have jointly offered a combination of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and PAC-2 low to high-altitude surface-to-air (SAM) missiles through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

The China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC) was to offer the HQ-9 (whose reported export designation is FD-2000). Turkey earlier asked Russia to propose its S-400 air defense system.

China’s interest in Turkey’s T-LORAMIDS project is linked to the previous joint production of two different types of guided missiles between Turkey’s Roketsan and China’s CPMIEC. Turkey and China jointly developed guided missiles code named Kasırga and Yıldırım. A conventional battlefield ballistic missile system, Yıldırım was first displayed during Turkey’s Aug. 30, 2007 Victory Day celebrations.

In a related development, Turkey rejected French MBDA’s request to participate in the T-LORAMIDS project. The Turkish military has put the price of its tender on the acquisition of T-LORAMIDS at $1 billion, covering the purchase of four batteries. However, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have put the cost of providing 12 fire units at $4.5 billion. The SSM wants bidding companies to offer some parts of the missiles to be produced in Turkey.


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