Turkey eyeing to buy a batch of reconnaissance aircraft to augment its military’s fight against outlawed Kurdistan worker’s party (PKK) targets.
“The recent incidents of violence and clashes [with the PKK] has both boosted and given pace to this requirement,” an unnamed defense procurement official was quoted as saying by Hurriyet news daily today. “We were not planning to go into the market for this shopping so soon.”
Turkey had issued a request for information (RFI) on July 31 for an unspecified number of reconnaissance and observation aircraft. The Under-secretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) had asked potential bidders to reply by August 12.
According to procurement sources quoted by the news daily, Turkey might be buying five aircraft for around $50 million which includes systems outfitted to the aircraft.
Turkey might look for aircraft similar to Beechcraft King Air aircraft to cut down personnel training costs as Turkey has operated a leased fleet of the aircraft for reconnaissance purposes.
Defense officials said this would essentially be a systems integration contract commissioning the contract winner to take an aircraft as primary base model and outfit it with the designated configuration including electro-optical sensors (a camera or gimbal), system operators and data links.
“The undertaker will also be required to offer supplemental type certificates necessary to fly the aircraft,” one source said.