Turkey has selected China's CPMIEC firm to co-manufacture its long-range ground-based air defence system, thereby eliminating Russian, European and US companies from a $4 billion co-development contract.
Turkey's air defence system choice was made public on 26 September by the country's Defense Minister, Ismet Yilmaz, who at the same time confirmed the termination of a ship-building contract through which six new corvettes would have been delivered to the Turkish Navy.
Right now, Turkey doesn't have an extended-range missile defence system in operation but, via its NATO membership, does have Patriot systems deployed there.
CPMIEC's winning offering is the HQ-9 system. It was up against the Patriot (offered by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon), the S-300 (Rosoboronexport) and the SAMP/T Aster 30 (Eurosam).
Turkish Air Defence Contract
Responding to the Turkish air defence contract choice, Raytheon seemed to express disappointment. "NATO has long supported the system, deploying Patriots in five aligned countries and, in 2012, providing a requested Patriot deployment to Turkey", said representative Mike Doble. "Given this strong performance, we hope to have an opportunity to debrief and learn more about this decision."
About six months ago, CPMIEC had sanctions imposed on it by the United Nations in connection with Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act violations. It is not known precisely what these violations involved but this wasn't the first time the firm had found itself in that situation.
HQ-9 Missile System
The HQ-9 missile defence system has been in production since the 1980s. The missile itself boasts an inertial guidance system, has a horizontal range of up to 200 kilometres and travels at Mach 4.2. It is launched by a Taian TAS5380 8×8 TEL (transporter erector launcher) vehicle.
In 2012, China was the world's fifth-largest arms exporter with a five per cent market share, according to SIPRI (the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). The lion's share of its arms exports involved sales to Pakistan, SIPRI stated.
TEL launcher image copyright Jian Kang - courtesy Wikimedia Commons