France is blocking Eurosam missile development with Turkey while production of the Altay main battle tank (MBT) has been delayed because of the lack of an engine, İsmail Demir, head of Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), told a press conference on 6 January.
Turkey’s production program for its first new-generation main battle tank, the Altay, is facing delays, says the chair of Turkey’s Defense Industries Directorate İsmail Demir.
The 18-month production period is delayed because they have not yet obtained a power pack/engine from Germany he said. Previously, Turkey planned to Jointly produce power pack with Japanese companies but Turkish records of supplying weapons to various fighting groups in Syria to counter Kurds lead to fruitless efforts to create a joint venture with Japanese company.
Pakistan recently extended the deadline to supply Turkish-made T129 attack helicopter as the US reluctant to issue export licenses of the powerplant of T129 helicopter.
Demir said the French government had been blocking progress with Turkey on the joint production of anti-ballistic missiles with Eurosam, Turkish media reported the same day.
Paris condemned Turkey’s Operation ‘Peace Spring’ launched into northern Syria last October.
“We are in the definition study phase now. France has a negative attitude on the next phase. This is causing problems for further steps,” Demir said, adding, “If this attitude continues, we will proceed with the other partner,” referring to Italy.
Diplomatic ties between Turkey and the United States have deteriorated in the last few years over a number of issues, including Ankara’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defence systems and U.S. support for Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State militant group in northern Syria. Turkish Air Force procured stockpiles of F-16 spare parts before the delivery of S-400 amidst a possible CAATSA sanctions on Turkish defense industries.
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