Turkey has commenced work on ‘Project Siper’, its first long range air defense system to protect itself from missiles and aircraft.
Project Siper will perform similar roles as the S-400 air defence system that Ankara bought from Russia and the US-made Patriot which Washington reportedly refused to sell to Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who made the announcement today said, “I wish luck to our long range regional air missile defense system, which we have named ‘Siper.” Erdoğan was speaking at the inauguration of National Technology Development Infrastructures at TÜBİTAK SAGE, Turkey’s Defense Industries Research and Development Institute, various local media reported.
The first delivery of the Siper system is expected at the end of 2021 which will be a joint project by TÜBİTAK SAGE, ASELSAN and ROKETSAN.
Turkish defense electronics company ASELSAN had said on January 16 this year that it had signed the TÜBİTAK SAGE business partnership along with ROKETSAN, an accord for a national long-range defense system project for the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries.
It said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange that ASELSAN’s share under the agreement was 869 million Turkish Liras ($227 million) and that the deliveries would be completed in 2021.
Turkey has purchased the S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia whose delivery is expected from October 2019. The S-400 deal envisages technology transfer and the Siper system development could benefited from some of the technology of the S-400 system, though there is no official confirmation of this.