Turkey has further extended the deadline for the bidding companies to submit their revised offers for its anti-ballistic missile air defense system deal, according to Hürriyet Daily News.
The new extended deadline for rival bidding companies to submit their proposals is April 30 from the previous January 31, allowing U.S. companies Raytheon Co and Lockheed Martin and Italian-French team Eurosam SAMP/T to revise their offers and try to head off a Chinese company, with which Turkey is still in talks.
The decision was made during French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's visit to Turkey on Jan. 27, who was by accompanied French President François Hollande.
Last September, Turkey announced its decision to negotiate with US-sanctioned China’s Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. (CPMIEC) to co-produce anti-ballistic missile system. It incurred a wrath from the NATO and U.S. officials that the Chinese MD-2000’s would not be interoperable with the NATO defense architecture.
Turkish leaders said the deal had yet to be finalized, and that Ankara remained open to new offers from the other two bidders.
The officials from Eurosam and Raytheon are in contact with the SSM from time to time, but offers from any bidders will only be examined if contract negotiations with the Chinese company fail before April 30, a Turkish official was quoted as saying.
Chinese manufacturer CPMIEC has been on the U.S. State Department’s sanctions list since February 2013 due to non-proliferation concerns. The National Defense Authorization Act that the U.S. Congress also passed last month, with a clause barring the use of “2014 funds to integrate the missile defense systems of the People’s Republic of China into U.S. missile defense systems.”