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(MIL) TURKEY TO PROCURE 9 ADDITIONAL ATTACK HELICOPTERS FOR LAND FORCES.

ANKARA, Jun 16, 2010 (TUR) -- The Defense Industry Executive Committee decided Tuesday to procure nine additional attack helicopters for the Turkish Land Forces and to lower the number of general purpose helicopters to be procured from 123 to 109.

The Committee decided to procure cargo helicopters from the United States for Turkish Land Forces and Special Forces.

In a meeting held in Ankara on Tuesday, the Committee decided to urgently procure attack helicopters and develop helicopters that could be used for training purposes.

The Committee revised the number of general purpose helicopters to be procured.

The Defense Industry Executive Committee convened in Ankara on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish Minister of National Defense Vecdi Gonul said that there was no tender agreement between the governments of Turkey and Israel.

Minister Gonul answered the questions of the press following the meeting of the Committee.

Asked if Turkey cancelled defense agreements with Israel, Minister Gonul said that there was no such item on the meeting's agenda.

We did not discuss such agreements, Gonul stressed.

In reference to a question on the use of Heron drones, Gonul said that there was no problem regarding the use of Heron drones.

In response to questions on cancellation of tenders with Israel, Minister Gonul said that tenders and agreements were two different things.

The agreements get prepared by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), approved or disapproved by the Council of Ministers and ratified by the Turkish Parliament, Gonul noted.

Minister Gonul said that there were no tender agreements between the governments of Turkey and Israel.

We are in the final stages of most commercial agreements with Israel. The most important agreement was the one on unmanned aerial aircraft and we are about to conclude the terms of this agreement. Agreements between companies is a different thing, Gonul said.

Asked if any restraints have been placed on interactions between Turkish and Israeli companies, Minister Gonul said that interaction between companies was subject to special laws and that this issue was out of the jurisdiction of the Defense Industry Executive Committee.

In reference to a question on four Heron drones from Israel, Gonul said Turkish engineers would travel to Israel to test and take delivery of unmanned aerial aircraft.

Minister Gonul said that the Committee decided to procure cargo helicopters from the U.S. for Turkish Land Forces and Special Forces.

Gonul underlined that the Committee decided to procure nine additional attack helicopters for the Turkish Land Forces.

The Committee decided to develop training helicopters for the Turkish Land Forces. The Committee also decided to develop general purpose helicopters to meet the needs of the Turkish public and private sector under the guidance of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS), Gonul said.

Minister Gonul said that U.S. aerospace and defense industry company Sikorsky and Italian defense industry company AgustaWestland were competing against each other in an effort to supply general purpose helicopters to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

According to Gonul, the number of low altitude air defense missile systems that would be procured could go as high as 27.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:Jun 16, 2010
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