The Turkish Government has asked companies competing for the country’s long-range air and missile defence systems (LORAMIDS) contract to extend the validity of their bids.
The Turkish Undersecretary for Defence Industry (SSM) was cited by Reuters as saying in a statement that the companies have been directed to extend their proposals until the end of 2015.
Turkey originally selected China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp’s (CPMIEC) FD-2000 missile defence system for the tender in September 2013, rejecting proposals from Russian Rosoboronexport, US Raytheon and Eurosam Consortium.
Raytheon had offered its Patriot surface-to-air (SAM) missile, while Rosoboronexport and Eurosam proposed the S-400, and Aster 30 sol-air moyenne portée terrestre (SAMP/T) missile system, respectively.
While the contract was initially set as $4bn, the value was reportedly reduced as CPMIEC lowered its proposal to around $3.4bn.
CPMIEC also offered to collaborate with Turkish prime and subcontractors to coproduce the system that comprises radar, launcher and intercept missiles, and is expected to enable Turkey to counter both enemy aircraft and missiles.
Despite provisionally awarding the contract to CPMIEC, Turkey later asked the competitors to ‘reconsider’ their bids in wake of strong pressure from the international community, including Nato and the US.
CPMIEC is under US sanctions for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Non-Proliferation Act since February 2013, according to the news agency.
A member of the Nato military alliance, Turkey long hoped to produce its own air-defence system to prevent any influx of the violence in Syria, and has been relying on Nato’s Patriot system for the same since 2012.