Turkey has signed a joint missiles development contract with French and Italian companies during President Erdoğan's visit to France on Friday, according to Defense World.
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.
The Eurosam consortium is comprised of European missile maker MBDA, itself a joint venture between Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo and Britain’s BAE Systems, and French defense contractor Thales, whose main shareholders are the French state and fighter jet maker Dassault Aviation.
On the sidelines of a meeting in Paris between Erdoğan and French President Emmanuel Macron, Eurosam announced that it would 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.
"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," Eurosam announced in a statement.
Elaborating on the Turkish-French military partnership to fight against terrorism, Erdoğan said that the agreement to jointly develop a missile system would further enhance defense cooperation. "The missile development agreement that was signed today will further broaden the Turkish-French defense partnership."