France is “obstructing” the Turkish-Eurosam missile defence system project from progressing beyond the project definition stage.
Following Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring” late last year in Norther Syria, France is impeding progress in the joint anti-air missile system of Eurosam-Turkey, Defense Industries Directorate chairperson İsmail Demir said Monday.
The French parliament has condemned Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring” which was launched on October 9, 2019.
“We are at the stage of definition study now. France has a negative attitude for the next phase. It creates troubles to go one step further,” he said. France’s ‘obstruction’ relates to technology transfer, Turkish media reported.
“If this attitude continues, we will proceed with the other partner [Italy],” he said adding that there was no general blocking of defense projects with Turkey, but difficulties were seen on project bases.
Ankara made an initial deal with the French-Italian consortium, Eurosam on July 14, 2017 to develop Turkey’s national defense system based on the SAMP-T air defense system. An agreement had been signed during early 2018 for an 18-month study to determine joint production of an anti-ballistic missile system. The proposed system will be an advanced version of the SAMP-T.
Turkey commenced Talks with the Italian-French consortium after it signed up to procure Russia’s S-400 missile defence system. The European deal was seen as a counter-balance to keep its European NATO partners in good humour after its sourced relations with NATO’s supreme power, the United States over the S-400 deal and the suspension of the F-35 jets deal.
France could also be under US pressure to stay away from the deal as the US wants Turkey to buy its own Patriot systems provided it abandons its S-400 buy with Russia.