Turkey, France, Italy to cooperate on missile system

Sat 15 July 2017 05:02 GMT | 09:02 Local Time

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Turkish defense minister says deal has been reached with Italian-French consortium for domestic missile defense system.

Turkey has signed an agreement with fellow NATO members France and Italy to develop its national missile defense systems, the Turkish defense minister said on Friday.

Speaking during a reception for Bastille Day at the French embassy in Ankara, Fikri Isik said Turkish companies would work with Italian-French consortium Eurosam.

The minister described the move as one of the most concrete developments of Turkey's alliance within the defense industry.

On July 4, Isik announced that Ankara and Moscow had agreed on the “technical issues” relating to the purchase of a Russian missile system.

“All technical issues, both by the Russian side and the Turkish side, are over,” Isik said in an interview with broadcaster TRT Haber. “Now it is time for the final decision.

“Now, we continue work on the financial aspects. I think we will bring this to a close in the coming days.”

Following Isik's remarks, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin said last week that Moscow and Ankara had agreed on the delivery of S-400 mobile systems but he added that the Kremlin had not approved a loan for the deal.

He said that Russia saw “no obstacles” to providing missiles to a NATO member.

The S-400 system was introduced in 2007 and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying ground and air targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

It can track and engage up to 300 targets simultaneously and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).

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