Turkey has rescinded a contract with a state-owned Chinese manufacturer that would have seen the company build Ankara its first long-range missile defense system.
“The deal was cancelled,” an official from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office told AFP.
The USD-3.4-billion (EUR-3-billion) contract was clinched with China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) following talks with the firm in 2013.
The deal originally raised eyebrows among other NATO members, which complained that the defense apparatus would lack the qualities enabling it to work in tandem with other such systems in the Western military alliance.
Turkey has US-manufactured Patriot missiles stationed along its border with Syria.
The Chinese company has been placed under sanctions by Washington allegedly for selling items that are banned under US law to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Turkish official, whose name was not mentioned in the report, said, “One of the main reasons is that we will launch our own national missile project.”
Prior to the cancellation of the deal, however, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz had emphasized that Ankara’s decision to opt for a Chinese-built system and avoid integration with the existing NATO defense infrastructure was in line with the country’s national defense interests.
Experts had also argued that choosing a Chinese partner would ultimately enable Turkey to own both the system and the technology.
French-Italian consortium Eurosam and US-listed Raytheon Co have also submitted offers to help build the Turkey Long Range Air and Missile Defense System (T-LORAMIDS).