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01:41 PM, January 6, 2018
French-Italian Consortium Eurosam Signs Missiles Development Contract With Turkish Firms
French-Italian Consortium Eurosam Signs Missiles Development Contract With Turkish Firms

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.