ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkey, collaborating with France and Italy in the joint production of air defense systems, aims to develop such a system of its own manufacture, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said Thursday.
"Along with [Russian missile systems] S-400, we plan a joint [with France and Italy] elaboration of SAMP/T air defense systems. Thus, we will manage to address deficiencies in this field more fully. This project will make a significant contribution to the creation of a domestic air defense system," Canikli said at a press conference in Brussels, as quoted by the Anadolu agency.
Turkey, France and Italy signed a memorandum that provides for joint manufacturing and the deliveries of SAMP/T air and missile defense systems during NATO defense ministers on November 8-9.
In September, Moscow and Ankara had reached an agreement and signed a contract on the deliveries of Russia's S-400 missile systems to Turkey, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying that Turkey had already made the first payment for the systems.
Nevertheless, Turkish officials have repeately stated that Ankara aims to develop a home-made air defense system.