On 14 July in Ankara, the heads of Eurosam (a joint venture of MBDA and Thales), Aselsan and Roketsan, namely Michel Vigneras, Faik Eken and Selçuk Yaşar respectively, signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) under the aegis of the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) to launch in-depth co-operation in the field of air and missile defence.
The HoA sets the work sharing agreements for a definition study with the SSM on a long-range air and missile defence system to be launched in the coming months.
The future Turkish air and missile system will be based on the technologies and experience that Eurosam has built in ground and naval systems using the ASTER missile over 25 years and €11 billion of collective investment. These systems have been delivered to the current home nations of France and Italy, many export nations, and are able to defeat the most challenging of air threats, whether air breathing or ballistic. The future programme will be managed in synergy with future evolutions of the Eurosam systems in France and Italy.
At the occasion of the HoA signature, Eurosam CEO Michel Vigneras said: “The Italian Army has deployed two Eurosam-built SAMP/T firing units since June 2016 as part of NATO’s contribution to the defence of Turkey and its people against potential missile threats from beyond NATO’s southeastern flank. Today’s agreement is a clear demonstration of the willingness and readiness of our three companies to build further on the strong defence co-operation commitments already in place and to work together as equal partners, towards a common goal and sharing full and entire responsibility vis-à-vis the Turkish authorities. I am confident that today, we have laid the foundation of a long term co-operation between Eurosam and the Turkish defence industry.”
This agreement strengthens a willingness by Thales, MBDA, Aselsan and Roketsan to cooperate in order to meet the Turkish authorities’ need to define their future air defence system as well as ballistic antimissile defence capabilities. This will provide their country with the means to protect their populations and territories. The agreement signed in July 2017, marks a major milestone in discussion between all parties and reaffirms their willingness to cooperate. Thales and MBDA, together with Eurosam, have developed through the SAMP/T defence system, a capability of engagement with all types of airborne and ballistic threats.The SAMP/T system in operation within the French and Italian armed forces, contributes to the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability: two SAMP / T systems have been deployed in Turkey.