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27 février 2014 4 27 /02 /février /2014 12:30
L’A400M MSN9, pomme de discorde entre Airbus et Ankara

 

26.02.2014 Helen Chachaty à Toulouse-Blagnac - journal-aviation.com

 

C’est la devinette du jour : Avion de transport tactique et stratégique de nouvelle génération, il est stationné sur le tarmac de l’usine d’Airbus Defence & Space de Séville depuis deux mois et n’a toujours pas été « récupéré » par son client. Qui est-ce ? Le premier A400M destiné à l’armée de l’air turque, l’exemplaire MSN9.

 

Une situation qui devient « de plus en plus inacceptable » pour Tom Enders, CEO d’Airbus Group, qui déplore le fait que l’avion soit toujours cloué au sol. « L’avion est prêt à voler, il est opérationnel, mais nous sommes toujours en cours de négociations [avec le gouvernement turc] », a déclaré le PDG lors de la présentation des résultats annuels du groupe ce 26 février. Il n’a pas caché son mécontentement face à cette situation qui s’éternise dans le temps, a même parlé de « marchandage » de la part de la Turquie, sans toutefois entrer dans les détails des points d’achoppement qui empêchent MSN9 de rejoindre sa future base.

 

Cédric Gautier, directeur du programme A400M chez Airbus Defence & Space, avait abondé en ce sens en janvier dernier, assurant que l’avion était prêt « depuis très longtemps », le client turc n’ayant qu’à venir le chercher.

 

La situation est problématique, elle pourrait même impacter sur les prospects à l’export, car, comme le déclare Tom Enders, « c’est un vrai problème pour un programme multinational. Comment peut-on envisager d’augmenter la cadence de production si nous ne sommes mêmes pas sûrs que le client prenne l’avion » ? Le CEO a même appelé au soutien des autres pays partenaires (France, Allemagne, Luxembourg, Espagne, Grande-Bretagne, Belgique) dans ce « conflit ».

 

La vente d’A400M à l’étranger représente un enjeu important pour Airbus Defence & Space, qui ne compte pour l’instant que la Malaisie comme pays non-partenaire du programme. Chez l’industriel, « on a des ambitions », car la première mission opérationnelle de MSN8, le second exemplaire de l’armée de l’air a fait monter l’intérêt « de manière flagrante ». Airbus DS table sur une prise de commande à l’export en 2015, une perspective jugée « raisonnable ».

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25 février 2014 2 25 /02 /février /2014 18:30
Critical Turk Procurement Meeting Put Off Amid Political Scandal

 

 

Feb. 25, 2014 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense news

 

ANKARA — A critical Turkish meeting planned for today in which the government would discuss billions of dollars worth of programs and contracts has been put off amid new allegations of corruption against the government, officials said.

 

The meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee, Turkey’s ultimate decision-making body in procurement, has been postponed to an unknown date.

 

“We will have to wait for the prime minister’s word as to when a meeting should gather,” a procurement official said.

 

The committee is chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Its other members are Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz; Gen. Necdet Ozel, chief of the military General Staff; and the country’s top procurement officer, Murad Bayar.

 

Topics would have included whether to proceed with Turkey’s indigenous fighter jet program, and a highly controversial decision to select a Chinese bidder for construction of the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system.

 

Other agenda items were a possible joint venture with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop an engine for what will become Turkey’s indigenous new-generation tank, a new logistical support ship and assault boats for the Navy.

 

Erdogan, who has been facing a slew of corruption allegations since December, got a fresh blow late on Feb. 24 when unidentified sources revealed wiretap recordings incriminating him on fresh charges. In a speech on Feb. 25, Erdogan denied the authenticity of those recordings.

 

The wiretap leaked into the Internet Feb. 24 and contained four phone conversations between Erdogan and his son dating back to Dec. 17, the day when massive graft raids were conducted by the police. In these recordings Erdogan is heard ordering his son to move all the cash stocks at his home to other locations.

 

The voice recordings have sent shockwaves through Turkish politics, prompting the Prime Minister’s Office to issue a statement denouncing a “manipulation” and calls from the opposition for resignation.

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4 février 2014 2 04 /02 /février /2014 21:30
Turkish PM Seeks More Control Over Military Procurement

 

Feb. 4, 2014 - by BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News

 

ANKARA — Though embattled by recent corruption scandals, the Turkish government continues to reshape the civilian-military balance in procurement decisions, proposing to extend the terms of commanders it deems “government-friendly.”

 

A draft bill proposed to Parliament Jan. 21 empowers Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to extend the terms of top brass. It states that the terms of the commanders of the Land Forces, Navy and Air Force may be extended “upon recommendation by the chief of General Staff and endorsement by the prime minister.”

 

If passed, the bill could keep the incumbents in office until 2016-’17 (depending on the commander’s retirement age), including Army Gen. Necdet Ozel, chief of the General Staff.

 

Experts and industry sources agreed that an annual reshuffle in August underscored a visible shift in power from the generals to civilians in controlling defense procurement.

 

They said the new command structure featured generals who would fully respect the government’s authority in procurement and politics, agreeing to retreat to a minimal role in specifying requirements and choosing bidders.

 

The Supreme Military Council, which is led by Erdogan and decides on promotions and retirements of top military officers, announced in August the unexpected retirement of the country’s paramilitary gendarmarie force commander, Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu, who had been the leading candidate to take over Land Forces. Kalyoncu was viewed as a government critic.

 

Instead, Gen. Hulusi Akar was given the job and, according to custom, would be expected to replace Ozel as armed forces chief in 2015. But under the new law, he could remain longer.

 

In the same reshuffle, Vice Adm. Bulent Bostanoglu was appointed commander of the Navy, Lt. Gen. Akin Ozturk as head of the Air Force, and Gen. Servet Yoruk as commander of the gendarmarie.

 

“The government and military wings of the procurement mechanism have been working in perfect harmony and coordination,” a senior procurement official said Jan. 27. The official would not comment on the draft bill.

 

In the 1990s, the generals had the upper hand in procurement decisions. Since Erdogan rose to power in 2002 and subsequently won three landslide election victories, the military’s role in politics and procurement has diminished.

 

“The draft bill clearly indicates Erdogan’s intentions to maintain the favorable procurement [and political] equilibrium in which he feels safe and can run his one-man show,” one London-based Turkey specialist said.

 

A senior Turkish military officer declined to comment.

 

In October 2012, Erdogan’s government introduced new rules to regulate procurement and broaden the jurisdiction and administrative powers of the civilian procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM). Under the new rules, a program takes off when a military request for a weapon system has been approved by the SSM and the defense minister.

 

The SSM is solely responsible for determining the ideal modality for every procurement program. It also can buy from a single source when it deems necessary due to “national interest, confidentiality, monopoly of technological capabilities and meeting urgent requirements.”

 

Analysts said the new rules, coupled with the profile of the incumbent top brass, means the “one-man show in procurement in the powerful personality of the prime minister would be bolstered.”

 

“That’s precisely why Erdogan wants to have the current commanders in office longer than they could stay under the present regulations,” said one defense expert here.

 

Several programs and contracts spanning the next few years and amounting to billions of dollars await critical decisions.

 

Turkey will decide in about a year whether to stick by a September award of a $3.44 billion contract to China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. to build Turkey’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense architecture.

 

Turkey has come under increasing pressure from its NATO allies, especially the US, to change course. The Chinese contractor is on a US sanctions list as part of the Iran, Syria and North Korea Non-Proliferation Act. Turkey has said it would turn to European and US bidders if talks with the Chinese contender fail.

 

Under Erdogan, the procurement bureaucracy also will decide whether to sign an $800 million contract with Sedef, an Istanbul shipyard partnered with Spain’s Navantia to build Turkey’s first landing platform dock ship; select another shipyard to construct four Milgem corvettes; decide whether to sign a multibillion-dollar deal with Sikorsky to buy utility helicopters; pick up a serial production contractor for the locally developed Altay new-generation main battle tank; and decide on Turkey’s future in the US-led F-35 program.

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27 janvier 2014 1 27 /01 /janvier /2014 12:30
Missile antimissile : François Hollande porte les espoirs de MBDA et Thales en Turquie

En Turquie, MBDA et Thales proposent le système SAMP/T armé de missiles Aster 30 (MBDA) et équipé du radar Arabel (Thales)

 

26/01/2014 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Le Chef de l'Etat en visite officielle en Turquie à partir de lundi va défendre l'offre franco-italienne de MBDA et Thales pour la vente d'un système de défense aérienne de longue portée. .

 

En voyage officiel de deux jours à partir de lundi en Turquie, François Hollande va tenter de relancer la proposition franco-italienne (MBDA France, MBDA Italie et Thales) dans le cadre du programme T-Loramids, un système de défense aérienne de longue portée (missile anti-missile) pour le moment promis aux Chinois. Le président français, qui sera notamment accompagné du ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, rencontrera deux fois son homologue Abdullah Gül lundi à Ankara et mardi à Istanbul et aura également un tête-à-tête lundi avec le Premier ministre, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

Pourtant l'affaire apparaît mal engagée. A la surprise générale, le groupe chinois CPMIEC (China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp.) avait remporté en septembre dernier l'appel d'offres international lancé par la Turquie en vue d'acquérir un système de missiles anti-aériens. Le sous-secrétariat de l'Industrie de la Défense (SSM) avait indiqué qu'il avait "décidé d'entamer les pourparlers avec la compagnie CPMIEC pour la production conjointe des systèmes et de leurs missiles en Turquie sur le prix négocié", selon un communiqué.

 

Des Chinois mieux-disants

 

Pourquoi les Turcs ont-ils sélectionné les Chinois ? Parce qu'ils étaient - et de loin - les mieux-disants avec une offre à 3 milliards de dollars et qu'ils avaient une coopération industrielle très compétitive également. De leurs côtés, le GIE Eurosam (MBDA et Thales) et les américains Lockheed Martin/Raytheon avaient fait des propositions d'environ 4 milliards de dollars. Mais si Ankara disqualifiait finalement CPMIEC, cela pourrait profiter à Eurosam,arrivé derrière le groupe chinois mais devant les américains. MBDA et Thales proposent le système SAMP/T armé de missiles Aster 30 (MBDA) et équipé du radar Arabel (Thales). Ils ont également depuis le choix d'Ankara retravaillé leur dossier industriel avec des transferts de technologies tandis que Paris et Rome ont redoublé d'efforts pour faire évoluer la décision d'Ankara.

 

Qu'est-ce qui pourrait faire dérailler le processus entre les Turcs et les Chinois ? Les Etats-Unis, furieux de la décision turque. Washington a beaucoup pesé sur Ankara en menaçant les entreprises turques d'un point de vue financier. Sans compter les pressions diplomatiques sur les Turcs. Car les Américains ne veulent pas d'un système chinois aussi stratégique au coeur de l'alliance atlantique. La Turquie a besoin de brancher sa future architecture de défense antimissile avec les systèmes de l'OTAN, dont certaines données très sensibles pour l'identification d'un ami ou d'un ennemi ("Identify Friend and Foe system"). Des données ultra-secrètes et ne peuvent pas être installées sur un système chinois.

 

Un cheval de Troie chinois ?

 

Cette offre chinoise n'est pas non plus innocente. Pékin cherche à affaiblir l'OTAN et son offre serait un véritable cheval de Troie qui pénétrerait les systèmes de l'Alliance. Beaucoup d'observateurs assurent que l'OTAN serait directement menacée dans ses fondements via l'article 5 qui veut que les pays de l'OTAN soient solidaires en cas d'attaque d'un des membres. Mais si une zone est protégée par un système chinois, aucun avion OTAN ne pourra la survoler car il sera hors de question de donner les codes amis/ennemis (IFF) aux Chinois.

 

Enfin, CPMIEC est sous le coup de sanctions américaines pour ne pas avoir respecté le "Nonproliferation Act" avec l'Iran, la Syrie et la Corée du Nord."Nous avons transmis au gouvernement turc nos sérieuses préoccupations au sujet des pourparlers qu'il mène avec une société sanctionnée par les Etats-Unis pour un système de défense antimissile qui ne sera pas compatible avec les systèmes de l'OTAN", avait déclaré en octobre une porte-parole du département de la Défense.

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21 janvier 2014 2 21 /01 /janvier /2014 08:30
Mystère autour de camions chargés d'armes interceptés dans le sud de la Turquie

 

20 janvier 2014 Jérôme Bastion correspondant à Istanbul - RFI

 

Une nouvelle cargaison d’armes destinée à des groupes rebelles syriens a été interceptée dans le sud de la Turquie ce dimanche 19 janvier, suscitant une nouvelle crise entre magistrats et représentants de l’Etat. Car leur chargement n’a pu être inspecté et les camions ont pu reprendre leur route, ajoutant au mystère qui entoure le soutien apporté par le gouvernement turc aux combattants syriens, un soutien qui pourrait aller à des groupes islamistes radicaux. Les journalistes qui tentaient de prendre des images des véhicules suspects se sont vus confisquer leur matériel et ont été relâchés après une brève garde à vue. Et puis, gros plan sur ces Européens qui partent combattre en Syrie. Un phénomène qui semble s’accélérer.

 

C’est en deux mois la troisième fois que des semi-remorques en route vers la Syrie sont arrêtés avec des armes à leur bord. Et comme le 1er janvier 2014, la fouille ordonnée par un procureur, et menée par près de 300 gendarmes, a dû être abandonnée sur ordre du gouverneur de la province d’Adana. La raison : il s’agit d’une « mission de routine des services secrets », dont la voiture accompagnait le convoi.

Des armes mélangées à du matériel médical

La présence de ces agents empêche effectivement, selon la loi, toute inspection tant que le Premier ministre ne donne pas personnellement son feu vert. On ne saura donc jamais précisément quelles armes se trouvaient dans les six containers, mélangés à du matériel médical ; mais selon les premières constatations des gendarmes, il y avait des explosifs repérés par les chiens de détection, et apparemment aussi des lance-roquettes, des obus de mortier et toutes sortes de munitions.

 

Un procureur trop curieux

Mais rien de tout cela ne sera consigné dans la moindre main courante, pas plus que les destinataires de la cargaison. « C’est la politique de l’Etat, elle n’a pas à être exposée au public », a commenté l’ancien ministre et porte-parole du parti de gouvernement Hüseyin Çelik, ajoutant que c’est « le droit de la Turquie d’aider le peuple syrien dont son tyran a tué déjà au moins 200 000 personnes ». Et selon lui, le procureur a outrepassé ses prérogatives en tentant d’en savoir plus.
 


Gros plan sur ces Européens qui partent combattre en Syrie. Un phénomène qui s’accélère ?

L'afflux de jihadistes français vers la Syrie inquiète les autorités françaises. Le ministre français de l’Intérieur dit même y voir, « le plus grand danger de ces prochaines années ». Manuel Valls a recensé près de 700 jeunes plus ou moins impliqués dans le conflit en Syrie. Près de 250 Français y combattent, une centaine sont en transit en Turquie pour s'y rendre, 150 cherchent à y aller, 76 en sont revenus et 21 y sont morts. Enfin une douzaine de mineurs sont partis ou sont en transit pour rejoindre la Syrie.

Des familles à la recherche de leurs enfants

En Turquie, la presse se fait de plus en plus souvent l’écho de ces histoires de jihadistes européens qui transitent par la Turquie, surtout depuis l’été dernier. Il semble clair que l’accélération de ce phénomène est liée à la montée en puissance de l’Emirat islamique d’Irak et du Levant, ce groupe lié à al-Qaïda qui depuis l’année dernière a, petit à petit installé son autorité sur presque toutes les zones contrôlées par la rébellion, au nord du pays, donc à la frontière avec la Turquie. Ce groupe, extrêmement violent est connu pour être très largement constitué de combattants étrangers, il y a des arabes de diverses origines, des Libyens ou des Tunisiens par exemple, mais aussi des musulmans du Caucase ou du Pakistan, et donc, beaucoup d’Européens, d’origine maghrébine ou des convertis. La presse locale a beaucoup parlé en novembre dernier d’une famille allemande venue chercher leur fils de 16 ans, prénommé Pero, qui a été enlevé « à un groupe jihadiste dans un camp dont quasiment tous les hôtes étaient germanophones¨», a-t-il raconté. Ce week-end encore une mère de famille belge est venue en Turquie pour tenter de retrouver son fils mineur enrôlé dans une brigade islamiste.

Peu de collaboration de la part de la Turquie

Mais ces quelques histoires ne sont que la partie visible de l’iceberg. Les autorités turques, n'apportent aucune réponse aux proches. Les familles contactent plutôt des personnes, par exemple des journalistes, parfois pour essayer de remonter les filières menant aux factions combattantes et à leurs enfants. Elles ne sollicitent guère la police turque, ou alors après que le jeune soit revenu en Turquie. Mais les services de renseignements européens, eux, demandent régulièrement à leurs homologues turcs des détails sur le séjour de leurs ressortissants au parcours suspect, sans grand succès jusque-là. Si les jeunes jihadistes n’ont pas enfreint la loi sur les conditions d’entrée ou de séjour en Turquie, ou s’ils n’ont participé de manière avérée à des actes répréhensibles au sein de groupes considérés comme terroristes, les Turcs s’en désintéressent tout simplement. Il faut croire que les services de sécurité turcs manquent de preuves du danger que ces jihadistes représentent en Europe pour mieux collaborer avec les services de renseignement occidentaux. Peut-être que la prise de conscience va s’accélérer après l’avertissement du ministre français de l’Intérieur. 

 

Les jihadistes Turcs

Mais les Turcs sont aussi suffisamment préoccupés par leurs propre sécurité, les infiltrations de rebelles en Turquie, les trafics d’armes, les jihadistes de Turquie. A ce sujet, la discrétion des autorités sur le nombre de jihadistes turques à combattre en Syrie traduit la gêne d’Ankara. Récemment la centrale nationale de renseignements turque évoquait le chiffre de 500 jihadistes turcs en Syrie, dont près de la moitié seraient déjà morts. C’est probablement un chiffre en deçà de la réalité, mais il y a un tabou sur ce sujet dans l’opinion publique qui est très divisée sur ce conflit. Certains secteurs de la société sont pro-rebelles mais d’autres défendent le régime de Bachar el-Assad ; et puis tout le monde a peur, peur que le conflit ne fasse tâche d’huile, alors on parle très peu de ces jihadistes.

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16 janvier 2014 4 16 /01 /janvier /2014 18:45
Hurkus turboprop trainer made by TAI

Hurkus turboprop trainer made by TAI

 

 

14 January 2014 by Oscar Nkala - defenceWeb

 

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said his country may soon acquire the T-129 attack helicopter and Hurkus turboprop trainer from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) as the two countries expand defence ties.

 

According to reports from Turkey, an unnamed government official said Zeidan toured the TAI production facilities on January 3 and was briefed on the possible sale of the two aircraft. The official said TAI is optimistic that Libyan official and the company will start discussions regarding a possible sale, which could be an entry point into for Turkey into the Libyan weapons market.

 

“We are hopeful about a powerful entry. The Libyans are keen to explore possibilities of cooperation. Libya could be a promising market soon, especially in view of the fact that political relations are excellent,” the official said. Turkey has been developing the T-129A helicopter in partnership with British-Italian aircraft manufacturer AugustaWestland.

 

So far, the initial T-129A has been used for flight testing while the full specification T-129B is still under development. However, the Turkish company is required to seek US permission to export the US-made LHTEC CTS800-4N engine which powers the T-129 before concluding any sales agreement with Libya.

 

Zeidan also expressed interest in acquiring the indigenously developed Hurkus-C basic trainer and close air support aircraft. Powered by a 1 600 horsepower engine, the aircraft has a maximum speed of 574 kilometres per hour.

 

It can fly up to an altitude of 10 577 metres and has an average lifespan of 35 years (or 10 500 flight hours). According to a serial production agreement reached between TAI and the Turkish government on December 26 last year, the company will produce an initial 15 Hurkus-B aircraft which will be equipped for basic pilot training, instrument flying, navigation training and weapons and formation training.

 

Addressing Turkish media during a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Zeidan said the two countries have reached ‘preliminary consensus’ on the purchase of 20 000 military uniforms and 20 000 assorted weapons. He also expressed interest in buying Turkish-made patrol boats for the Libyan coastguard. IHS Janes reports that Libya is interested in the purchase of Arma and Cobra armoured vehicle’s from Turkey’s Otokar.

 

Libya is still struggling with insecurity problems and is attempting to bolster the military following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 after nine months of civil war.

 

Since then, the country has descended into chaos with various post-revolutionary militias, some of whom are alleged to be aligned to Al Qaeda, operating throughout the country.

 

Turkey is also part of a group of nations which include the US, UK, France, Italy and some Gulf Arab states which are actively training the Libyan Army and providing various forms of assistance which include weapons and logistical supplies. Approximately 1 000 Libyan soldiers were trained in Turkey last year, according to IHS Janes, and another 2 000 will be trained as well.

 

A total of 15 000 Libyan troops will be trained over the next five years. Turkey, Italy and Britain have pledged to train 8 000 soldiers and police.

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13 janvier 2014 1 13 /01 /janvier /2014 21:30
French Air Force A400M

French Air Force A400M

 

Jan. 13, 2014 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News

 

ANKARA — The first Turkish A400M built by the multinational Airbus Military consortium arrived in Turkey in December and has been undergoing acceptance tests, procurement officials here said.

 

Turkey plans to receive a batch of 10 aircraft in the next two to three years. Turkish officials say the A400M will cost Ankara $1.5 billion, and the same amount would go to the country’s local industry in work share.

 

A procurement official familiar with the program said there have been a couple of “minor problems” with the first aircraft and the acceptance tests have not yet been completed. “These are not major difficulties and we hope the tests would be completed soon,” the official said.

 

The aircraft arrived at the 221st Air Fleet in Kayseri in central Turkey.

 

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is manufacturing the main fuselage for all 174 A400Ms to be produced as part of this international program. Turkey, a 5.5 percent shareholder of the program, hopes business for local companies will increase as more aircraft are produced for export markets.

 

Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and Britain joined in the program that, together with export customer Malaysia, has garnered 174 orders.

 

Among the other significant A400M operators, Britain is scheduled to get its first aircraft next year and German deliveries will follow in 2015.

 

Earlier, the A400M venture overcame serious technical problems, delivery delays and budget overruns that almost saw Airbus and the partner nations scrap the program. But since then, the tone has changed.

 

The aircraft was conceived in the 1980s to meet a looming shortfall in military transport capacity among the seven European NATO nations. The A400M competes with the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules turboprop and the larger Boeing C-17 cargo jet.

 

The turboprop aircraft has a payload capability of up to 37 tons or 116 paratroopers, and can also serve as an air-to-air tanker for fast jets and other aircraft.

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8 janvier 2014 3 08 /01 /janvier /2014 08:45
Turkey Sees Promise in Libyan Market

 

Jan. 7, 2014 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News

 

ANKARA — Turkey’s procurement officials are hoping to penetrate into the emerging Libyan arms market, especially with aerial platforms Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is developing.

 

“We are hopeful about a powerful entry,” one senior procurement official said. “The Libyans are keen to explore possibilities of cooperation.”

 

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan visited TAI production facilities on Jan. 3, the company announced. It said that he was briefed on the possible sale of the T-129 ATAK attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter and the Hurkus basic trainer aircraft.

 

A TAI official said the company hoped to launch talks on potential sales of both platforms to Libya.

 

“Libya could be a promising market soon,” he said. “Especially in view of the fact that political relations are excellent.”

 

TAI has been developing the T-129 in partnership with the Italian-British AgustaWestland. Earlier, TAI launched talks on potential sales to Pakistan, Jordan and Azerbaijan.

 

The initial T-129A is being used for flight testing while the full specification T-129B is still under development. For any sales deal, however, Turkey must obtain US permission to export the LHTEC CTS800-4N engine powering the T-129.

 

The TAI official also said that Libya, which is still trying to improve its Air Force after a revolution toppled former leader Moammar Gadhafi, could be a potential buyer for the Hurkus trainer.

 

The Turkish government Dec. 26 signed a contract for the serial production of two versions of the Hurkus, an indigenous trainer aircraft developed by TAI. TAI has said the Hurkus-A, an analog cockpit-base model, made its maiden flight Aug. 23. It has flown a total of 800 hours in 15 sorties since then.

 

The contract involves the production of 15 Hurkus-Bs, an advanced version with improved avionics. Turkey’s military electronics specialist, Aselsan, will be tasked to produce military avionics for the aircraft.

 

TAI also said the contract involves conceptual design work for the Hurkus-C, an armed aircraft with aerial support, reconnaissance and surveillance roles.

 

The two-seat Hurkus will have a maximum lifespan of 10,500 flight hours, or about 35 years. The turboprop has a single 1,600-horsepower engine and can fly at a height of 10,577 meters at a maximum speed of 574 kilometers per hour.

 

The Hurkus will be equipped for day and night flying, as well as for basic pilot training, instrument flying, navigation training, and weapons and formation training. It will have good visibility from both cockpits, with a 50-degree down-view angle from the rear cockpit, ejection seats, an on-board oxygen generation system, an environmental control system, an anti-G system, and shock-absorbing landing gear for training missions.

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13 décembre 2013 5 13 /12 /décembre /2013 08:30
Turkey produces first F-35 center fuselage

 

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 12 (UPI)

 

The first Turkish-made center fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II has been delivered to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman by Turkish Aerospace Industries.

 

TAI said the center fuselage was delivered Wednesday at a ceremony at its manufacturing facility in Ankara and will be installed onto the aircraft by Lockheed in Texas.

 

"Delivery of the first F-35 center fuselage is a major step by TAI to demonstrate its commitment to adding value to the (F-35) program," said Muharrem Dortkasli, president and chief executive officer of TAI. "TAI invested in brand new, state-of-the-art facilities, machinery, equipment and tooling to manufacture the most advanced and complex assembly of the F-35, fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

 

"It is now time to begin delivering world-class TAI center fuselages to the final production line at an increasing rate every year."

 

TAI is producing center fuselages for the F-35 as a sub-contractor to Northrop Grumman. It also produces center fuselage metallic assemblies for the F-35A, selected composite components for all F-35 variants, composite air inlet ducts for F-35A, and air-to-ground alternate mission pylons for all F-35 variants.

 

It said once the F-35 program reaches full rate production, it will ship three center fuselages a month to assembly lines in the United States and Italy.

 

"This is a great achievement for the Northrop Grumman-TAI team," said Brian Chappel, vice president of the F-35 program at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "We worked hand-in-hand to manufacture the first center fuselage, following established processes implemented by Northrop Grumman on our own assembly line in California. Together, we are driving down costs and raising efficiencies to help the F-35 program meet its affordability goals."

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9 décembre 2013 1 09 /12 /décembre /2013 17:30
Des logiciels turcs pour l’industrie de défense

 

9 décembre 2013 turquie-news.com

 

Le sous-secrétariat à l’Industrie de défense et l’Agence turque des études scientifiques et technologiques, TUBITAK, ont signé un accord important.

 

Le projet permettra de produire des technologies militaires entièrement nationales.

 

La Turquie qui fabrique des chars, navires, hélicoptères et drones par ses propres moyens pourra ainsi obtenir les logiciels turcs pour tous ces produits.

 

Le nombre de pays possédant cette technologie n’est pas plus de 10 dans le monde. Ces pays disposent d’une électronique solide d’industrie de défense.

 

Le projet qui sera mené en collaboration par le sous-secrétariat à l’Industrie de défense, l’Aselsan et TUBITAK s’achèvera en 46 mois et coutera 9,5 millions de livres turques.

 

Grâce à ce projet, la Turquie pourra produire des systèmes militaires de technologie avancée qui ne dépendront d’aucun autre pays et se placera parmi les pays distingués possédant cette technologie.

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7 décembre 2013 6 07 /12 /décembre /2013 12:30
Counter-Terrorism: The Turkish Threat

 

 

December 6, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Turkish police and military intelligence officials are concerned about the hundreds of Turkish men (most in their 20s and 30s) who have gone to Syria to join Islamic terrorist groups fighting the Assad government. It is believed there are as many as 500 of these men and at least ten percent have been killed (and 10-20 percent wounded or injured) so far. What the police are worried about are those who return to Turkey alive. There have long been small groups of Islamic terrorists in Turkey, and over a decade of pro-Islamic government has made all sorts of Islamic conservatives feel welcome in Turkey. That has made Turkey vulnerable, as it’s often difficult to tell if some Islamic conservatives are radicalized Moslem or just Turks who take their Islam seriously.

 

This situation might change if more Turkish Islamic terrorists show up inside Turkey. Meanwhile Turkey’s economy has been booming for the last decade, ever since an Islamic party took control in 2002 by promising to finally do something about the corruption that had long crippled the government and the economy. Economic growth usually leaders to fewer Islamic terrorists. But the moderate Islamic politicians running the country have also sought better relations with Islamic states, especially Iran and neighboring Arab countries. That meant an end to the close economic and diplomatic relations with Israel.

 

This is a return to the past. Until 1924, the Sultan of the Turks was the Caliph (technically, the leader of all Moslems). But in the 1920s, Turkey turned itself into a secular state. Although Turkey became a major economic power in the Middle East, with one of the best educated populations in the region, it was still hobbled by corruption and mismanagement. The Islamic politicians promised to attack the corruption (which they have) and return religion to a central place in Turkish culture (a work in progress). This has upset a lot of secular Turks. But it's fashionable to hate Israel these days, over Israeli efforts to cope with Palestinian terrorism. Now Turks are noticing that the Islamic politicians are beginning to act like the corrupt and incompetent aristocrats that brought down the empire, which had turned from “The Pride of The Turks” to a shameful and dysfunctional organization that is not missed.

 

The possibility that young Turkish Islamic conservatives, radicalized in Syria and returning home with murderous intent might be one of several recent trends that are sending Turks back to secularism. For over three decades most of the terrorist violence in Turkey came from Kurdish nationalists, but that is declining as the government makes peace with the nationalist movements. There was always some terrorist activity from Turkish nationalists, Armenian nationalists and Islamic or Arab terrorists. With the two years of fighting in neighboring Syria, many Turkish Arabs and Shia Moslems have become radicalized and now there is fear that ethnic Turkish Sunnis are also becoming radicalized. The number of Turkish Sunni radicals are still small, but they have been growing for two years and it’s unclear what a lot of these newly radicalized Turks will do once the war in Syria is over.

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6 décembre 2013 5 06 /12 /décembre /2013 08:30
US Blocks Sale of UAV Components to Turkey

 

Dec. 5, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: Today’s Zaman; published Dec. 4, 2013)

 

US Blocks Company from Exporting UAV Tech to Turkey

 

ANKARA --- The US government has prevented an American company from exporting camera systems and laser pointers to a Turkish company, Vestel, which wants to acquire the technology for its newly developed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Karayel.

 

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) tasked Vestel in 2011 with developing new UAVs, and the company is expected to deliver the Karayel in July 2014. Aiming to equip these new UAVs with camera systems and laser pointers, Vestel sought out an American company, WestCAM Solutions, from which to acquire the technology. The American company applied to the US government for permission to sell their products to the Turkish company, but the request was denied. The US also canceled the delivery of Predator drones in 2013.

 

The laser pointers that Vestel ordered from the American company are used in UAV targeting systems.

 

The US's apparent disapproval of Turkey possessing weaponized UAVs could hinder Turkey's efforts in that direction. The country is also seeking to arm its first domestically developed UAV, the Anka.

 

Sources at the Turkish Defense Ministry who requested anonymity told Today's Zaman that Turkey has the capacity to produce its own technology, hinting that Turkey may start efforts to produce the laser pointers it needs domestically.

 

Some are speculating that the US prevented WestCAM Solutions from exporting the technology to Turkey because of Washington's anger with Turkey's recent selection of a Chinese missile system for its long-term, long-range missile and aerial defense program, instead of a NATO member country.

 

The tactical UAV system Vestel has been developing consists of six aircraft, three ground control stations and one launching pad. The Karayel UAVs will be able to reach altitudes up to 18,000 feet and carry up to 35 kilograms. The Karayel will be able to stay in the air for 10 hours of uninterrupted flight.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
Official: U.S. Has Time to Boost Bid for Turkey Missile System

 

Nov. 19, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

WASHINGTON — Turkey would look again at a US bid for a multi-billion-dollar contract for the country's first long-range anti-missile system providing Washington agrees to produce it jointly, a top Turkish official said Monday.

 

A "final decision has not been taken," Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters, after meeting in Washington with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry.

 

Washington has reacted angrily after Turkish decision-makers in September gave the green light to begin contract negotiations with the China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC), which is under US sanctions for selling arms and missile technology to Iran and Syria.

 

CPMIEC, which makes the HQ-9 missile system, beat out competition from a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Russia's Rosoboronexport, and Italian-French consortium Eurosam for the deal, estimated at $4 billion (2.9 billion euros).

 

The United States has also complained that the Chinese system would not be compatible with other systems used by Turkey's NATO allies.

 

But Davutoglu said there was "no political or ideological dimensions" to Turkey's choice of the Chinese company, saying it had purely been based on Ankara's three main criteria.

 

"We have three basic criteria, one is joint production the most important criteria because we want these ... to be developed in Turkey and this is very valid request," the minister insisted to reporters.

 

"Second is delivery time, because there are so many crises around Turkey and we want to have this system as early as possible, and third is the price."

 

He stressed that Turkey would prefer to have a system from the United States and its NATO allies, but said that in the tendering process the American bid had come third behind both its Chinese and European competitors.

 

"It is not final decision," Davutoglu said however, adding "it's a competition. If there is a new proposal satisfying our needs by American company or European company we will make this deal with them."

 

Turkish officials said there had been some indications in their meetings in Washington that the US bid could be modified to address Ankara's concerns.

 

Meanwhile, Hagel told Davutoglu that the United States will meet Turkey's request and extend the deployment of two Patriot batteries under NATO command along the border with Syria for another year.

 

"This renewal of the Patriot deployment is and will remain defensive only and represents a concrete demonstration of alliance solidarity and resolve," a Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog said in a statement.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
US To Keep Patriot Missiles In Turkey For Another Year

 

Nov. 18, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

WASHINGTON — The United States will keep two Patriot missile batteries in Turkey for another year to help bolster the country’s air defenses against threats from Syria’s civil war, the Pentagon said Monday.

 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Washington’s decision in talks at the Pentagon that focused on the conflict in Syria, a spokesman said.

 

Hagel “conveyed to Minister Davutoglu that the United States has decided to continue its contribution of two Patriot batteries under NATO command and control for up to one additional year,” Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog said in a statement.

 

Turkey had made a formal request to NATO to extend the deployment of the surface-to-air Patriot missiles, which are designed to counter aircraft and short-range missiles.

 

The United States, the Netherlands and Germany have provided a total of six Patriots along the Turkish border with Syria.

 

Turkey was once an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but now backs the opposition fighting to topple the embattled leader.

 

At Monday’s talks, Hagel and Davutoglu also discussed “the imperative to eliminate the regime’s chemical weapons and achieve a political transition” in Syria, Woog said.

 

Ankara has faced an influx of refugees from Syria, and Hagel “praised Turkey’s actions to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Syria,” he added.

 

The 32-month war has reportedly killed more than 120,000 people and displaced millions.

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15 novembre 2013 5 15 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
Au forum OTAN-industrie à Istanbul, l'industrie de défense et les Alliés vivement incités à coopérer plus étroitement

14 Nov. 2013 NATO

 

Au forum-OTAN industrie tenu cette année à Istanbul (Turquie), le secrétaire général délégué de l'OTAN, l'ambassadeur Alexander Vershbow, a appelé ce jeudi (14 novembre 2013), des hauts représentants de l'industrie de défense et des pays de l'Alliance à resserrer leurs liens. « Nous sommes confrontés à des défis de sécurité mondiaux de plus en plus complexes et à une compression des budgets de défense dans nombre de nos pays. La combinaison de ces deux facteurs signifie que, de nos jours, une sécurité efficace passe par une intensification de la coopération multinationale », a déclaré l'ambassadeur Vershbow.

 

Cette année, le forum est axé sur la nécessité d'un dialogue plus étroit entre l'OTAN et l'industrie pour qu'en ces temps de contraintes budgétaires, l'Alliance rentabilise au mieux l'argent investi.  Le secrétaire général délégué a indiqué que l'OTAN souhaitait vivement « promouvoir un nouveau niveau de coopération » entre les Alliés et l'industrie. « Ce forum va nous aider à voir comment fournir au mieux les capacités dont nous avons besoin afin que l'Alliance puisse continuer à assurer notre sécurité pour longtemps encore, » a-t-il ajouté.

 

M. Vershbow et M. Murad Bayar, sous-secrétaire au ministère turc de la Défense, ont ouvert la séance plénière du forum, à laquelle a également été diffusé un message vidéo du secrétaire général de l'OTAN, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Le secrétaire général a insisté sur le fait qu'une défense efficace exige des capacités efficaces. « Pour disposer de capacités efficaces, il est aussi très important d'avoir une industrie de défense efficace » a-t-il dit. Il a appelé les participants au forum à faire des propositions concrètes pour contribuer à la préparation du sommet que l'OTAN tiendra l'an prochain au Royaume-Uni et qui visera principalement à s'assurer que l'Alliance dispose de la gamme de capacités voulue pour faire face aux défis de sécurité du futur.

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15 novembre 2013 5 15 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

 

November 15th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

Turkey is hoping to finalise negotiations to acquire its first long-range anti-missile system from China in six months’ time, the head of the country’s procurement agency said Thursday.

 

“The immediate goal for us is in about six months to come to a reasonable level in our contract negotiations and to understand whether it’s possible to implement this program,” Murad Bayar, head of undersecretariat for defense industries, told reporters in Istanbul.

 

In September, Turkish decision-makers gave the greenlight to begin contract negotiations with the China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC), which is under US sanctions for selling arms and missile technology to Iran and Syria.

 

CPMIEC, which makes the HQ-9 missile system, beat competition from a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Russia’s Rosoboronexport, and Italian-French consortium Eurosam for the deal, estimated at $4 billion (2.9 billion euros).

 

Bayar said if negotiations with the Chinese company that made the top of the Turkish list failed, the authorities would then evaluate the other bidders.

 

“If there are difficulties that we may have not foreseen, if this is not possible then we will go down” the list, he said.

 

The decision to go with CPMIEC irritated Turkey’s NATO allies, particularly the United States, which voiced “serious concerns” and sent delegations for expert-level discussions with Turkish authorities.

 

NATO has said the missile systems within the transatlantic military alliance must be compatible with each other.

 

Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, has defended its decision to enter into talks with the Chinese company, but said it is open to new bids should the negotiations collapse.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 18:30
Anka - Turkish Aerospace Industries

Anka - Turkish Aerospace Industries

 

November 14, 2013: Strategy Page

 

After months of additional negotiations Turkish officials have finally signed a contract for the first batch of the new, Turkish designed and manufactured Anka UAVs. Turkey completed acceptance tests (130 sorties) for the new Anka UAV in March but production could not begin until the government actually signed contracts for the first order of 30 aircraft (ten systems) for the Turkish Air Force. Each Anka system consists of three UAVs plus ground control equipment and all necessary maintenance and ground operations gear.

 

The manufacturer had to convince the air force that it could make a number of improvements to Anka. These included adding satellite communications and a Turkish designed and manufactured air-to-ground missile for the Anka. Both tasks ought to be easily taken care of. Satellite communications on aircraft is not new, but adapting this to operate reliable on a UAV requires some work. The missile is also not difficult, because a Turkish firm already produces such a missile for use on helicopter gunships. The UMTAS is a 160mm diameter missile that weighs 37.5 kg (82.5 pounds) and has a range of 8,000 meters. It can use infrared (heat sensing) or laser guidance to find its target. In effect, UMTAS is a smaller (than the 49 kg) Hellfire.

 

The air force was not quick to believe assurances that Anka would work as promised because there had been a lot of problems with Turkish supplied UAV components in the past. Back in 2004 Turkey had ordered ten Israeli Heron Shoval UAVs. These are very similar to the American MQ-1 Predator. The Shoval weighs about the same (1.2 tons), and has the same endurance (20-30 hours). Shoval can fly 20 percent higher (at 9,000 meters) and software which allows it to automatically take off, carry out a mission, and land automatically. Not all American large UAVs could do this back then. Shoval has a larger wingspan (16.5 meters/51 feet) than the Predator (13.2 meters/41 feet) and a payload of about 137 kg (300 pounds.) Delivery of the Herons’ were delayed for years because of the inability of Turkish manufacturers to deliver components the Turkish government insisted be part of the deal. During this time the Turkish government became increasingly anti-Israel in an effort to improve relations with Moslem nations. The Israelis fixed the main problem with the Turkish sensors (they were too heavy, so Israel put a more powerful engine in the Turkish Herons). Once this was done the Turkish Air Force was quite pleased with the Herons and despite the diplomatic battles between Israel and Turkey the Turkish Heron military insisted on keeping the Herons, which they still operate. The Anka will have to prove itself in action before the air force will give up their Herons.

 

Looking very similar to the American Predator, the Anka is a 1.6 ton aircraft propelled by a rear facing propeller. Payload is 200 kg (440 pounds) and endurance is 24 hours. Currently Anka can operate up to 200 kilometers from its controller but this can be much less when it is used in mountainous areas (like eastern Turkey, where there is most need for UAVs) and that’s why satellite communication is so important. Max altitude is 7,900 meters (26,000 feet). A UAV like this would sell for over $2 million each. The Turkish military is to receive its first Anka by 2016. There are already two export customers for Anka (Egypt and Saudi Arabia).

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
photo Voice of America Scott Bobb

photo Voice of America Scott Bobb

 

 

Nov. 13, 2013 Defense News (AFP)

 

ANKARA — Turkey has asked NATO to extend for another year the deployment of surface-to-air Patriot missiles to protect its troubled border with Syria because of a continuing “serious” threat, officials said on Wednesday.

 

“We have received a letter from the Turkish government requesting the continuation of the Patriot mission,” a NATO official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

 

“The North Atlantic Council has regularly assessed the situation and the implementation of the Patriot mission. It is clear that the overall risks and threats to Turkey remain serious,” the official said.

 

A Turkish foreign ministry diplomat, contacted by AFP, also confirmed Ankara’s request.

 

Turkey turned to its NATO allies after a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory killed five Turkish civilians in the border town of Akcakale in October last year.

 

Since the deadly attack, Turkey has retaliated in kind for every Syrian shell that has landed on its soil and beefed up its volatile 910-kilometer (560 mile) frontier.

 

Washington confirmed that Turkey has asked NATO “to continue to augment its air defense capabilities to aid in the defense of its population and territory.”

 

“We look forward to working through NATO to address the request,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, adding that “we respect and value Turkey as a long-standing NATO and US ally.”

 

Without specifying whether Washington would agree to the demand, Psaki added the US did “recognize the needs they have.”

 

The six batteries of the US-made missiles, effective against aircraft and short-range missiles and dispatched by the Netherlands, Germany and the United States, are deployed in the southern city of Adana and the southeastern cities of Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep.

 

“Allies have shown a strong commitment to protect and defend Turkey,” said the NATO official.

 

“Any continuation of the deployment would reaffirm the determination of NATO to deter threats and defend Turkey, reflecting and confirming once again NATO’s solidarity with Turkey.”

 

NATO approved their initial deployment in December, saying the use of ballistic missiles by the Syrian regime posed a threat to Turkey.

 

But Syria’s allies Iran and Russia opposed the Patriot deployment, fearing that it could spark a regional conflict also drawing in NATO.

 

Originally used as an anti-aircraft missile, Patriots today are used to defend airspace by detecting and destroying incoming missiles. They were made famous during the 1991 Gulf War as a defense from Scuds fired on Israel and Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

 

NATO deployed Patriot missiles in Turkey during the 1991 Gulf war and in 2003 during the Iraqi conflict.

 

Turkey was once a friend and ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but relations have broken down since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, sending more than 600,000 refugees across the border.

 

Ankara has backed the opposition fighting to topple the embattled leader.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
Altay tank nov 2012

Altay tank nov 2012

 

12.11.2013 Le Monde.fr (AFP)

 

Le Japon et la Turquie, à travers leurs entreprises d'industries lourdes, vont codévelopper des équipements et technologies de défense, a affirmé mardi 12 novembre le quotidien économique japonais Nikkei.

 

Selon ce journal, le groupe nippon Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) a commencé d'étudier la création en Turquie d'une coentreprise avec un partenaire local que doit lui soumettre le gouvernement turc, afin de développer et produire un moteur de char.

 

Les coopérations techniques avec le Japon dans le domaine militaire étaient encore très difficiles jusqu'à récemment du fait de lois japonaises restrictives, mais les contraintes ont été assouplies en 2011 sous le précédent gouvernement de centre gauche, de sorte qu'elles sont désormais possibles si ces technologies sont destinées à contribuer au maintien de la paix dans le monde ou à renforcer la sécurité nationale. De fait, d'autres coopérations, avec la Grande-Bretagne et la France, pourraient déboucher, en plus de celles existant avec l'allié américain.

 

PEUR DE FUITES TECHNOLOGIQUES

 

L'idée d'un codéveloppement de moteur de char avec la Turquie serait née de discussions entre le premier ministre de droite japonais, Shinzo Abe, et son homologue turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, en mai dernier, lors d'un déplacement dans la région du chef du gouvernement nippon. Si le projet de coentreprise de codéveloppement d'équipements militaires est réalisé, il s'agira du premier cas en la matière.

 

Toutefois, le Japon aurait fait part de ses craintes quant à un risque de fuites technologiques vers d'autres pays, dont la Chine, avec lequel il n'est pas en bons termes. La Turquie se serait engagée à mettre en place une stricte protection, mais les deux pays devraient fixer un accord très précis sur ce plan d'ici à la fin de l'année, engagement qui préciserait notamment que toute exportation du matériel produit exigera au préalable l'autorisation de la partie japonaise.

 

Le Japon et la Turquie entretiennent de bonnes relations, notamment économiques, et un éventuel partenariat dans le domaine de la défense a peu de risques de froisser les Américains, a jugé le gouvernement japonais, selon le Nikkei. Du fait de la diplomatie très active de M. Abe, plusieurs pays se seraient montrés intéressés par des coopérations technologiques militaires, selon un responsable du ministère de la défense cité par le quotidien.

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4 novembre 2013 1 04 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
FD-2000 export variant of the HQ-9

FD-2000 export variant of the HQ-9

 

 

Nov. 3, 2013 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL -Defense News

 

NATO's Consent Needed for Interoperability

 

ANKARA — NATO member Turkey’s stunning decision to select a Chinese contender to build the country’s first long-range air and missile-defense system does not mean that the game is over for US and European companies that bid for the prize, government officials said.

 

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters Oct. 25 that Ankara would be open to new offers if talks with China Precision Machinery Import Export Corp. (CPMIEC) fail. “Currently, I don’t know if there are different proposals from the other parties. If there are, they could be considered,” Erdogan said.

 

A senior procurement official said the decision to select CPMIEC may not be the end but rather the beginning of a fresh round of competition. “The game is certainly not over yet. We would enthusiastically assess rival bids if they make sense in terms of costs and the level of technology transfer we require,” he said.

 

Turkey announced Sept. 26 that it selected CPMIEC to build the country’s first long-range air defense architecture, sparking a major dispute over whether the Chinese-built system could be integrated with the NATO air defense assets stationed in Turkey.

 

The Chinese contender defeated a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, offering the Patriot air defense system; Russia’s Rosoboronexport, marketing the S-300; and the Italian-French consortium Eurosam, maker of the Aster 30. Turkey has said Eurosam came second in the competition, Raytheon third and the Russian solution was eliminated.

 

Murad Bayar, Turkey’s top procurement official, said the Chinese offer was priced at US $3.44 billion. CPMIEC is under US sanctions for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

 

Despite warnings from US and NATO officials over interoperability problems, Bayar said the Chinese system would be operable with the NATO assets stationed in Turkey.

 

According to Bayar, Turkey selected the Chinese solution because it was better than rival bids in terms of “price, technology, local work share, technology transfer and credit-financing terms. The Chinese bid is perfectly in compliance with our terms and conditions.”

 

But US Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone told reporters Oct. 24 that the United States was very concerned about the China missile defense deal. He said he understands the deal was a commercial decision and was within Turkey’s sovereign right, but that the United States shared NATO’s concerns, including what it means for allied air defense.

 

A US administration official in Washington said in a telephone interview that “the United States was much more concerned over the deal than it expressed.”

 

But Turkey’s Army chief remained defiant. “We have not been notified of any concern from the United States,” Chief of General Staff Army Gen. Necdet Ozel told reporters Oct. 29.

 

Reuters quoted sources as saying that Turkey had asked the US to extend the pricing on Raytheon’s proposal, a sign that Ankara is keeping its options open in case talks with CPMIEC fall through. Raytheon said Oct. 24 that it was still ready to sell its Patriot system to Turkey if Ankara changed its mind.

 

An official from Eurosam said Oct. 28 that the company was working hard to improve its offer, “especially in view of Turkish sensitivities about technology transfer.”

 

The Turkish program consists of radar, launcher and intercept missiles. It has been designed to counter both enemy aircraft and missiles. Turkey has no long-range air defense systems.

 

About half of Turkey’s network-based air defense radar picture has been paid for by NATO. They are part of the NATO Air Defense Ground Environment. Without NATO’s consent it will be impossible for Turkey to make the planned Chinese system interoperable with these assets, some analysts say.

 

To defend against missile threats, Turkey needs satellite and dedicated ballistic-missile detection and tracking radar, such as the NATO radar deployed last year in Kurecik, in southeastern Turkey.

 

For the anti-aircraft component, Turkey needs an overall picture for data fusion. The Patriot system, for instance, can detect threats with its own radar. So does the Chinese system. But without integrating into a full air picture, the Chinese system could not work efficiently, analysts said.

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30 octobre 2013 3 30 /10 /octobre /2013 18:30
Anka - Turkish Aerospace Industries (Turquie).

Anka - Turkish Aerospace Industries (Turquie).

 

Oct. 29, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: Today's Zaman; published Oct. 28, 2013)

 

SSM Signs Agreement with TAI for 10 ANKA UAVs

 

İSTANBUL --- The Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) has signed an agreement with local producer Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for 10 ANKA unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

 

According to a statement from the SSM yesterday, the agreement was signed on Oct. 25 and the vehicles and their ground control systems will be delivered between 2012 and 2018.

 

“In the framework of our project to take the utmost advantage of local opportunities, TAI, as the main contractor, will employ the services of many Turkish firms,” the statement said.

 

The ANKA, a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) class UAV, is used by the armed forces for reconnaissance, observation and targeting.

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16 octobre 2013 3 16 /10 /octobre /2013 07:50
NATO’s Mounting Opposition to Turkey’s Chinese Missile System

October 16, 2013 By  Zachary Keck - thediplomat.com

 

NATO member states are strongly opposed to Turkey’s decision to purchase a Chinese-built missile defense system, with one NATO official calling the missile system a “virus,” according to a report in the Turkish newspaper, the Hurriyet Daily News.

“NATO’s own command and control system that ‘mashes’ input from allied networks is far more important than a Chinese air defense system in Turkey,” an unnamed defense attaché from a NATO member state was quoted as saying by Hurriyet Daily News. “There is no place for China within this critical system. We would not wish to see a virus in a complex system.”

An unnamed NATO ambassador in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city was even blunter, telling Hurriyet: “I have no idea why the Turks do not see the simple fact that the alliance’s security threat perception in the next 20 years is based on China. Air and missile defense will be the top defense issue in the foreseeable future, with China being under the magnifier.”

As previously reported, Turkey is likely to purchase the Chinese-built air and missile defense system over competitors from the U.S., EU and Russia. Although many worried that this was a signal that Turkey is “abandoning” the West for China, Aaron Stein, the nonproliferation program manager at the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, told The Diplomat that Turkey’s main rationale for purchasing the Chinese system was Beijing’s willingness to co-produce the systems and transfer technology. Other reports suggest that cost was also a crucial factor in Turkey’s decision.

The Hurriyet article suggests that the main concern among NATO officials with Anakara’s purchase of the HQ-9 missile system is the lack of interoperability. In particular, the NATO officials interviewed expressed concern about integrating the HQ-9 with NATO’s Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) system, which operates on “Mode 5,” a code that enables the system to distinguish between friendly and adversary aircraft.

An unnamed U.S. defense official was quoted in the article as saying: “To make the Chinese system NATO-operable, the Turks would require Mode 5 codes and I see no reason why the [U.S.] National Security Agency should give a nod to this crazy idea.”

This is not the first time U.S. or NATO officials have expressed concern with Turkey’s decision to go with the Chinese missile defense system. Last week, for instance, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Turkey that the system must be compatible with other NATO systems.

“What is important for us is that the system acquired by the individual country … must be able to work and operate with the systems in other countries. I expect that Turkey will also comply with that,” Reuters quoted Rasmussen as saying.

The U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Francis J. Ricciardone, similarly stated, “This is not a NATO system. China is not a member of NATO. This is one of the issues,” the U.S. has with the decision.

Meanwhile, State Department spokeswomen, Jen Psaki, expressed concerns with the fact that the Chinese company involved in the deal has repeatedly been sanctioned by the U.S. for its deals with countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea.

“The main concern here was that the Turkish government was having contract discussions with a U.S.-sanctioned company for a missile defense system that was not operable with NATO systems,” Psaki said.

Turkish officials have said that the deal is not final while largely dismissing all stated concerns.

Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yilmaz has previously said that purchasing the Chinese missile defense system will not harm ties with the U.S. The Hurriyet article quoted Yilmaz as saying that he sees no problems with integrating the system.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 12:30
Iranian Smugglers Slowed But Not Stopped

 

October 15, 2013: Strategy Page

 

A U.S. court recently sentenced two Singapore men to prison (for 34 and 37 months) after convicting them of illegally shipping American electronic items to Iran. This ended several years of investigations and legal proceedings. The case first became public in 2011 when American criminal investigators, in cooperation with their counterparts in Singapore tracked down and arrested five Singaporeans who had arranged for 6,000 American made radio frequency modules (RFMs) to be diverted to Iran. This was illegal, and was orchestrated by an Iranian citizen who was never arrested. Between 2008 and 2010 sixteen of these RFMs were found in unexploded roadside bombs in Iraq. It was eventually found that the RFMs, and other components of the bombs, had been smuggled into Iraq from Iran. Four companies were used to deceive American export controls so that the RFMs could be redirected to Iran. Singapore eventually agreed to extradite two of the men to the United States for prosecution. The other three were found not guilty (or not guilty enough) in Singapore.

 

The war on Iranian arms smuggling has been intensifying in the last decade. Most countries cooperate, but not all. While Turkey has been getting cozy with Iran, the Turks still enforce international trade sanctions against Iran. But as Turkey encourages its companies to do more business with Iran, there are more opportunities to smuggle forbidden goods to assist Iranian nuclear weapons and ballistic missile projects. Iran takes advantage of this whenever possible.

 

Germany was once a favorite place for Iran to buy equipment for their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs but over five years ago the Germans began cracking down. For example, in 2008, a German citizen was prosecuted for running a weapons related smuggling operation. The defendant shipped 16 tons of high-grade graphite, used for making rocket nozzles, to Iran in 2005-7. The defendant mislabeled the graphite as low-grade, which was legal to sell to Iran. Another ten tons of the high-grade graphite was caught by Turkish customs officials. Germany adopted stricter export rules for Iran three years ago, and promptly began seeking out and prosecuting those who ignored the ban. This did not stop the Iranians from using Germany as a source of forbidden goods. In response Germany have been prosecuting people for exporting special metals and manufacturing equipment needed for ballistic missile warheads. All this slows down the Iranians but has not stopped them.

 

Ever since the U.S. embargo was imposed in 1979 (after Iran broke diplomatic protocol by seizing the American embassy), Iran has sought, with some success, to offer big money to smugglers who can beat the embargo and get needed industrial and military equipment. This is a risky business, and American and European prisons are full of Iranians, and other nationals, who tried and failed to procure forbidden goods. The smuggling operations are currently under more scrutiny, and attack, because of Iran's growing nuclear weapons program. But the Iranians simply offer more money, and more smugglers step up to keep the goodies coming.

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5 octobre 2013 6 05 /10 /octobre /2013 12:30
Sequence de tir du SAMP/T - Mamba

Sequence de tir du SAMP/T - Mamba

04/10/2013, Michel Cabirol – Latribune.fr

 

La Turquie pourrait revenir sur son choix d'un groupe chinois pour la fourniture d'un système de défense aérienne stratégique. Ce qui pourrait profiter au consortium Eurosam (MBDA et Thales)

 

Ça tangue à Ankara. Après le choix d'un groupe chinois, CPMIEC (China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation), pour la fourniture d'un système de défense aérienne stratégique (T-Loramids), la Turquie est en train de se rendre compte qu'elle n'a peut-être pas fait le bon choix. Et de rétropédaler. "Le choix n'est pas définitif, a récemment assuré le président turc, Abdullah Gul, qui a été cité par le Hurriyet Daily News. Il y a une liste de candidats sélectionnés et la Chine est sortie première". En clair, cela veut dire que la Turquie est toujours en phase d'évaluation. Et entre Ankara et différentes capitales concernées, il y aurait actuellement des échanges à haut niveau et une intense activité diplomatique.

Les Chinois ont proposé à Ankara un prix très compétitif (3 milliards de dollars) pour la fourniture de son système FD2000 par rapport à ses deux autres concurrents, le groupe américain Raytheon (Patriot) et Eurosam (MBDA et Thales), qui propose le SAMP/T Aster 30. Ces deux derniers évaluent le contrat autour de 4 milliards de dollars. Pékin a proposé de produire ce système en Turquie avec un très large transfert de technologies. Ce qui a été également décisif pour Ankara, qui souhaite à terme disposer d'une industrie d'armement de hautes technologies.

 

Pas interopérable avec le système OTAN

L'offre de CPMIEC avait été en outre jugée jusqu'ici conforme par le ministère de la Défense turc par rapport à toutes ses exigences. D'autant que le tir d'évaluation par la DGA turque (SSM ou sous-secrétariat à l'industrie de la défense) d'un missile chinois s'est bien passée, selon nos informations. Enfin, selon des sources concordantes, les Chinois ont proposé d'aider la Turquie de l'aider à devenir une grande puissance spatiale. Là aussi, cette proposition ne pouvait pas laisser les Turcs indifférents.

Mais le système chinois FD2000 n'est visiblement pas interopérable avec ceux de l'OTAN. Car la Turquie a besoin de brancher sa future architecture de défense aérienne avec les systèmes de l'Otan, et principalement certaines données très sensibles pour l'identification d'un ami et du système de l'adversaire ("Identify Friend and Foe system"). Elles sont ultra-secrètes et ne peuvent être installées dans aucun système chinois. Ce qui n'est pas vraiment une surprise. Surtout cette exigence était dans les spécifications demandées dans l'appel d'offre.

 

MBDA et Thales en embuscade

Pourtant ni l'OTAN, ni le SSM turc ne se sont réellement manifestés sur ce point pourtant clé pour mettre hors-jeu CPMIEC. Pourquoi ? "Ils n'ont pas jugé bon de le faire et ont été, après comme tout le monde, surpris par le choix turc, explique un connaisseur du dossier. Et ce choix démontre toute l'exaspération du Premier ministre turc vis-à-vis des Etats-Unis et de l'Europe. Les Turcs se sentent humiliés d'être toujours laissés de côté dans les décisions régionales".

Et si Ankara disqualifiait finalement CPMIEC, cela pourrait peut être profiter à Eurosam (MBDA et Thales), qui sont arrivés derrière le groupe chinois mais devant Raytheon, selon nos informations. Un appel d'offres sur lequel les équipes italiennes et françaises de MBDA et Thales se sont beaucoup battues. "On y croyait", explique-t-on à La Tribune.

 

La Turquie est dans l'OTAN

"Nous devons regarder les conditions (de l'appel d'offre, ndlr) mais il n'y a aucun doute que la Turquie est principalement dans l'OTAN", a rappelé le président turc à des journalistes à bord d'un avion revenant en Turquie et en provenance des États-Unis.

Ces conditions "sont multidimensionnelles, il y a des dimensions techniques et économiques et il y a une dimension d'alliance. Elles sont en train d'être évaluées. La Turquie a besoin d'un système de défense", a expliqué Abdullah Gul. La Turquie n'est pour le moment dotée d'aucun système de défense aérienne de longue portée.

 

CPMIEC sous le coup de sanctions américaines

En outre, CPMIEC est sous le coup de sanctions américaines pour ne pas avoir respecté le "Nonproliferation Act" avec l'Iran, la Syrie et la Corée du Nord. Les Etats-Unis ont fait part à la Turquie de leurs "sérieuses préoccupations" à propos de la décision d'Ankara d'acquérir un système de défense antimissile à une société chinoise visée par des sanctions américaines, a tonné samedi le Pentagone.

"Nous avons transmis au gouvernement turc nos sérieuses préoccupations au sujet des pourparlers qu'il mène avec une société sanctionnée par les Etats-Unis pour un système de défense antimissile qui ne sera pas compatible avec les systèmes de l'OTAN", avait déclaré samedi dernier une porte-parole du département de la Défense.

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2 octobre 2013 3 02 /10 /octobre /2013 17:30
Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Oct. 2, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

ANKARA — Turkey on Wednesday defended its decision to enter talks with China to acquire its first long-range anti-missile system, in spite of protests from its ally Washington.

 

It also made clear that no deal had yet been finalised.

 

"The Chinese gave us the best price," Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz told Vatan newspaper, explaining that the system's Chinese manufacturer had agreed to a co-production deal with Turkey.

 

Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu said talks were to begin with the Chinese company, but made it clear that the selection process was still ongoing.

 

"The process has not yet been finalised," he said.

 

In an official statement last week, Turkey said it has "decided to begin talks with the CPMIEC company of the People's Republic of China for the joint production of the systems and its missiles in Turkey".

 

China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp (CPMIEC) beat out competition from a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Russia's Rosoboronexport, and the Italian-French consortium Eurosamrs in the tender.

 

The original contract was worth a reported $4 billion dollars, but the Chinese bid reportedly came in at a much lower $3 billion according to Turkish media.

 

The United States reacted with alarm to news that Ankara had chosen the Chinese firm, slapped with US sanctions for delivering arms to Iran and Syria, to build the air defence and anti-missile system.

 

"We had asked for joint production and a technology transfer," the Turkish minister said. "If other countries cannot guarantee us that, then we will turn to ones that can."

 

NATO member Turkey is a key regional ally to the United States, and currently has US-built Patriot missile systems deployed on its border to deter incoming attacks from Syria.

 

Turkey wants to build its own long-range air defence and anti-missile architecture to counter both enemy aircraft and missiles.

 

NATO has also raised concerns over possible compatibility issues between the Chinese-made system and others used within the alliance.

 

Yilmaz dismissed its concerns, saying: "There is no problem on that front."

 

The foreign ministry confirmed that Turkey had been in talks with NATO over the past few days, with Gumrukcu saying that the exchange of views with NATO allies was "only natural."

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