Turkey has officially cancelled a £2.23 billion tender with China for a long range missile defense system.
The Turkish prime minister’s office has told Reuters news agency that Turkey will no longer go through with the provisional award to China. Turkey’s western allies had earlier raised concerns over the tender with China and the compatibility of the missile defence system with that of NATO’s.
NATO member Turkey in 2013 had chosen China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp as the preferred candidate for the deal, sparking Western worries over inherent security risks from Chinese technology.
“It has been decided that this tender will be cancelled,” an official at Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office said. “This decision has been signed of by the Prime Minister this week.”
An official from Turkey’s Defence Industry Undersecretariat, which has run the technical negotiations with China, said in July that a major stumbling block has been China’s reluctance to make a technology transfer which could give Turkey the knowledge to operate the system and eventually replicate it.
The prime ministry official said Ankara was now planning to go solo. “Turkey will now launch its own project to build such a defence system,” he said.