Recall the tender for the purchase of new anti-aircraft complexes was announced more than four years ago. Turkey has expressed a desire to acquire 12 complexes worth about four billion US dollars. American companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon with the Patriot complex, the Russian organization Rosoboronexport with the C-300PMU2 system, the European consortium EuroSam, which presented the SAMP-T SAM, and the Chinese export corporation CPMIEC with the HQ-9 project submitted their applications for participation in it. It is worth noting that the latter is the Chinese version of the Russian C-300В complex. Since the beginning of the tender, all participating organizations have managed to provide all the necessary documentation, and the Turkish military and officials have compared it.
One of the first results of the comparison was the negotiations of the Turkish military with Rosoboronexport, which discussed the possibility of deploying the production of Russian weapons in Turkish enterprises. At about the same time, another process of this kind was launched with those negotiations: this time, Ankara tried to negotiate supplies of air defense missile systems with the United States, and under the same conditions. The Turkish side demanded help with organizing the production of Patriot systems on its territory. However, negotiations with Russia and the United States have not yielded any result: there is still no contract for the supply of long-range air defense systems to Turkey. Moreover, in January this year, there were reports that Turkey refused to purchase and will independently create a new anti-aircraft complex.
From the latest posts on this topic it follows that the information about the termination of the tender turned out to be false. According to Defense News, the Turkish military is currently showing great interest in the Chinese HQ-9 complex. According to an unnamed source of the agency, China’s proposal suits Turkey both economically and technically. HQ-9 meets all the requirements, as well as much cheaper than foreign counterparts. It is noted that Chinese-made anti-aircraft complexes may be incompatible with NATO communications and control systems.
The final decision, according to the source of the news agency, will be taken by the country's top leadership - President I. Yilmaz and Prime Minister R.Т. Erdogan. This decision should be announced at the next meeting of the Defense Industry Council. The date of the meeting has not yet been scheduled, it is likely to take place in the coming weeks. Shortly after the official announcement of the results of the tender, negotiations will begin on the specific conditions of the contract.
If the information from the source of the Defense News agency is true, then such tender results may have political consequences. The fact is that earlier, when the Turkish military began to hint at the possible victory of the Russian C-300PMU2 complex, the United States reminded them of the possible incompatibility of the systems. In addition, because of this decision, as previously stated, Turkey may lose information from a radar station located on its territory in Kurerdzhik. Now the Turkish military are receiving information from this station through the NATO operations center in Germany.
The solution to the problem with the compatibility of systems and radar surveillance data could be the purchase of American anti-aircraft missile systems. But the leadership of the United States for several years does not give any comments on the possibility of such a transaction. Because of this, Turkey finds itself in a difficult position. On the one hand, it wants to acquire modern air defense systems, but on the other hand, cooperation with some countries may lead to problems in relations with others. Previously, the opinion was repeatedly expressed that it was precisely such a difficult political situation that forced Ankara to delay the tender and torment the contestants with anticipation.
It is worth noting that the choice of the Chinese or Russian anti-aircraft missile system, despite their high characteristics, will have specific consequences not only of a political, but also of a technical nature. Turkey has been a member of NATO for several decades and its armed forces have been built in accordance with the standards of this organization. For this reason, for the incorporation into the existing air defense system of the C-300PMU2 or HQ-9 complexes, significant modifications of their electronics will be needed. It is unlikely that NATO will agree to transfer the relevant technical documentation to China. Perhaps this particular feature of the procurement of Russian or Chinese air defense systems caused claims from the United States and other states of the North Atlantic Alliance.
As a result, the most common and unremarkable, at first glance, tender for the supply of weapons systems has acquired a strange and unpredictable look. The interests of several countries intertwine around it, each of which seeks to get its own benefit and not lose anything. Therefore, at the moment, while the Turkish leadership has not officially announced the results of the competition, we can expect any development of events. Reports Defense News about the choice of Chinese HQ-9 ADMS, received from an unnamed source, can easily not be confirmed. In addition, we cannot exclude another scenario, in which negotiations with China will nevertheless begin, but will soon be curtailed due to the strong recommendations of Turkey’s allies in NATO. So what is available история with the purchase of anti-aircraft missile systems should soon be continued and it is quite possible that this continuation will be difficult and unexpected.
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