Israel sells electronic warfare systems to Turkey

J'lem complete $200 million deal with Turkish air force, after it was frozen following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

February 18, 2013 16:31
1 minute read.
Turkish F-4 fighter jets

Turkish F-4 fighter jets 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer Turkey)


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Israel has completed the sale of electronic warfare systems to the Turkish air force, despite ongoing strained relations between the two countries.

The original deal, worth 200 million dollars, involved Israel's ELTA Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, delivering electronic systems for four Turkish Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWAC) aircraft.

Two of the aircraft had already been fitted with the systems in the past.

Following the 2010 Marvi Marmara ship incident, in which Turkish Islamist activists attacked Israel Navy commandos, an incident that resulted in the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian activists and pushed ties between Ankara and Jerusalem to breaking point, Israel held off on delivering the remaining systems, worth tens of millions of dollars.

The equipment has now been delivered to the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) facility in Ankara, the Turkish news website Today's Zaman reported on Sunday.

"A senior defense bureaucrat told Today's Zaman last month that Boeing, the manufacturer of the planes that are part of the system, had to intervene, the report said. “Boeing told Israel that their refusal to complete the delivery was hurting their business, and Israel agreed to deliver the equipment,” the defense source was quoted as saying.

"The integration of the additional parts into AWACS will be completed in weeks to come," the report said.

The Ministry of Defense in Israel said it does "not comment on defense contracts."

The Turkish media report noted that the four Turkish AWAC aircraft were purchased by Turkey from the US around a decade a go.

Turkish national security was being challenged by developments in the Syrian civil war, it added, noting that Turkish jet had been shot down by a Syrian anti-aircraft battery in June 2012.

The report also listed "tensions with Israel and Greek Cyprus over the issue of gas drilling in the region" as a Turkish national security concern.

These were causing Turkey to seek "to boost its early warning systems to handle the multi-dimensional challenges stemming from the numerous crises in the region," the report added.

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