According to Turkish media, the country is in talks with the Italian-French defense manufacturer, Eurosam, to purchase SAMP/T Aster 30 long-range missile defense systems for its armed forces. This comes after speculation that Turkey might purchase Russian S-400s after the recent rapprochement with Russia. However, Turkey seems to be edging in favor of Eurosam over the Russian defense system.
Sources indicated that if the ongoing talks reach maturity, the main procurement is going to address the country’s urgent security needs via a short-term bridge solution and technology transfer and co-production will be considered as the long-term solution.
Although Turkish defense companies Aselsan and Roketsan were commissioned by the government to provide a future missile defense system, defense industry sources said the designing, developing and producing stages of the systems could take up to 10 years while underlining that the procurement of the SAMP/T Aster 30 system does not mean that Turkey has given up its desire to produce an indigenous system.
The SAMP/T Aster 30 system uses a network of sophisticated radars and sensors – including 3D phased array radar – enabling it to be highly effective against all types of air threats. The system can intercept missiles with a 600-kilometer range and it can operate in stand-alone mode or can be integrated in a coordinated network such as NATO missiles defense system.
In November 2015, Turkey canceled its $3.4 billion long-range missile defense system contract process, which was provisionally awarded to China in 2013 to produce its own indigenous system.