Saturday, February 6, 2010

Eurosam to Bid in Turkey’s $ 4.5 billion "T-LORAMIDS" Tender

The French and Italian consortium Eurosam has decided to bid in Turkey’s multibillion-dollar long-range missile tender.Murad Bayar, from the Turkish Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM), told the media early this week that Eurosam is to offer its Aster 30 for the missile tender. Turkey agreed to allow Eurosam to bid in the project after France’s intense lobbying activities convinced Ankara to soften its restrictions on French defense firms over Paris’ recognition of events that took place in 1915 under the Ottoman Empire as genocide of Armenians, a claim that Turkey denies.

Turkey is holding a competitive tender instead of negotiating with a single company as a sole supplier. Thus it has extended its deadline for responses to the request for proposals for its long-range air and missile defense systems (T-LORAMIDS) acquisition project from Jan. 15 to March 1 to enable more companies to bid. The extension of the deadline for the proposals was made to allow Eurosam and a Russia-based group to prepare their bids for the $4.5 billion project.

Russia is expected to offer its advanced S 300 missile systems instead of its S 400s. Turkey had wanted Russia to bid with its S 400s, but Russia has convinced Turkey to accept an advanced version of the S 300s. In the meantime, reports that Russia has agreed to compete in the tender, after abandoning its earlier offer to conduct exclusive state-to-state negotiations with Turkey, have come following several visits by Bayar to the country.Turkey earlier extended the deadline for T-LORAMIDS proposals from Dec. 1 of last year to Jan. 15 before extending it to March 1.

Meanwhile, a source from the Ankara office of the China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC) denied reports that the company declined to bid in the project after seeking exclusive state-to-state negotiations. At the time of the SSM’s first deadline extension, CPMIEC was unable to bid, the same source said, adding that the Chinese company will bid in the project by the revised deadline. CPMIEC is to offer the HQ-9 (whose reported export designation is FD-2000).

A US team of Lockheed Martin and Raytheon had already submitted its proposals in December of last year. The two companies 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 Program.

The Turkish military has put the price of its tender relating to 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.Turkey may sign a contract with the winner in the T-LORAMIDS project tender in the spring of next year after making a selection later this year. After the signature of the contract, delivery of the systems is required to take place within two-and-a-half years’ time.

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