Turkey has awarded Eurosam, Aselsan and Roketsan a contract for the definition study of the future Turkish Long Range Air and Missile Defense System. The contract award was made during the meeting of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Emmanuel Macron on Friday 05 January 2018 in Paris.
Scheduled to last 18 months, this definition study aims at preparing the development and production contract for the future system meeting the operational requirements of the Turkish Air Force. The contract was awarded by the SSM (the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries), which is responsible for acquisitions under the President of Republic of Turkey, jointly to Turkish companies Aselsan and Roketsan, and to the Franco-Italian consortium Eurosam; backed by its two shareholders MBDA and Thales.
The contract follows on from the Heads of Agreement signed by industry on 14 July 2017 and the Letter Of Intent signed by the French, Italian and Turkish Defense Ministers on 8 November 2017.
This study paves the way for the launch of a three-country joint Long Range Air and Missile Defense Program. The future system will be ready by the middle of the next decade with a state-of-the-art military capability designed to counter the most challenging threats (stealth aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles). The system is expected to meet three countries’ basic operational needs and it will guarantee Turkey has full employment autonomy and will allow a sovereign choice of integration level within NATO. 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.
At the signing ceremony of this definition study contract, Abdoulaye Samba, Eurosam Managing Director, stated: “Eurosam has been fully dedicated to air and missile defense since its inception in 1989 and has acquired world-class expertise as well as a unique experience of co-operation in this strategic and eminently sovereign domain. Today, we are proud to provide this know-how to the co-operation between France and Italy with their Turkish ally within NATO.”
“I am confident that this co-operation will also last several decades and will contribute to bringing our countries closer on a strategic level, as it has been the case for the last thirty years with France and Italy,” he added.
Eurosam was established in June 1989 as a joint venture of MBDA and THALES. Eurosam is the industrial prime contractor and system design authority for the development, production, marketing and sales of a range of medium and long range naval and ground-launched air-defense missile systems also known as Future Surface-to-Air Family of ASTER missile systems.
These systems were developed under contract from the French and Italian Governments, who in the late 1980s had come to similar conclusions as to their air-defense operational requirements. These called for naval and ground-launched missiles capable of defeating threats as diverse as high-speed tactical missiles (supersonic sea skimmers, air-launched, anti-radiation, cruise, TBM and other types) and highly maneuvering aircraft, in a saturation attack scenario.
The key capability of these systems is their capability of, simultaneously, engaging multiple targets, in any type combination, over 360 degrees.