Turkey has signed joint missiles development contract with French and Italian firms during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to France on Friday.
The deal for a long-range air missile system development and production project has been awarded to French-Italian consortium Eurosam and its Turkish partners Aselsan and Roketsan, Daily Sabah reports.
On the sidelines of a meeting in Paris between Erdoğan and French President Emmanuel Macron, Eurosam announced that it will lay the ground for a development and production contract. The three-country missile program is expected to be ready by the middle of the next decade to safeguard against threats from stealth aircraft, drones and missiles, according to the report.
In a statement, Eurosam said: "The joint development activity is expected to support Turkey's domestic air and missile development program in addition to opening up prospects for exports and longer-term cooperation between Turkey, Italy and France."
Speaking at the joint press conference, President Erdoğan said: "The Eurosam agreement is a very significant step. As two members of NATO, we are determined to broaden our cooperation," the president said, adding NATO member Italy is also a member of the agreement.
Elaborating on the Turkish-French military partnership to fight against terrorism, Erdoğan said that the agreement to jointly develop a missile system will further enhance defense cooperation. "The missile development agreement that was signed today will further broaden the Turkish-French defense partnership".
The Eurosam consortium is made up of European missile maker MBDA, itself a joint venture between Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo and Britain’s BAE Systems, and French defence contractor Thales, whose main shareholders are the French state and fighter jet maker Dassault Aviation.