BBC Monitoring International Reports
August 11, 2008 Monday
TURKISH OFFICIAL DETAILS DEFENCE PROCUREMENT PLANS
Text of report by Turkish semi-official news agency Anatolia
[Article by Mustafa Seven: "Defence Industry Under Secretary Bayar on Air Defence Projects" -AA headline]
Ankara 10 Aug 08 (AA) -Defence Industry Under Secretary Murad Bayar said that four serious candidates had been found for the procurement of a long-range, high-altitude air defence system and that talks with these four countries were under way.
Bayar replied to the AA journalist's questions about the air defence systems that Turkey is planning to purchase.
Underscoring that there were four serious contenders for the long-range, high-altitude air defence system, Bayar said these were the United States , Russia , China and Israel .
Bayar also emphasized that they were about to begin serious development projects in the field of air defence systems. He added that half the requirement for mobile air defence systems would be met directly through tenders while the rest would be met by domestic, home-grown production.
Eight Anti-Missile Systems
Turkey is preparing to establish a comprehensive air defence umbrella to counter surrounding missile threats.
The Long-Range Regional Air Defence and Missile Defence System Project is designed to provide Turkey with regional air and missile defence against all air threats.
The project will see four batteries purchased in the first package for the Air Force with four more batteries being purchased at a later date making eight missile defence batteries in all.
Emphasizing that talks were underway with four countries including Russia for a long-range, high-altitude air defence system, Bayar said that the s-300 [NATO designation SA-10 Grumble and SA-20 Gargoyle for the extended range version] was currently in production but that this production line was going to be upgraded to the s-400 [NATO SA-21 Growler] and that Turkey was interested in the s-400.
The missiles manufactured by the United States , Russia , China and Israel are the main choices for air defence systems. However, experts agree that Russia and the United States are the main competitors in this field.
Following a bad showing in the Iraq War the United States Patriot system has been upgraded and is now effective against tactical missiles and non-missile aerial vehicles.
The Chinese seem to be experts in the area of medium altitude air defence systems.
Russia is particularly boastful of its long-range, high-altitude systems the s-300 and s-400.
Russia also says it can carry out joint production of these missiles.
Israel manufactures the Arrow system.
The four contenders for the project are Russia 's Rusoboronexport [Russian Defence Export Company] s-400, the Patriot Pac III MEADS, the Israeli Arrow and the Chinese HQ-9.
Turkish firms are expected to contribute with the production of certain sub-systems.
Two of the long-range air defence systems, which are planned to go active in 2010, are expected to be deployed in Ankara and Istanbul while the other two should be deployed according to threat assessments.
Turkey 's requirement for a long-range anti-air and anti-missile system first emerged during the United States operations against Iraq in 1991 and 2003. During those operations NATO mobilized its own assets and deployed Patriots to Turkey . Patriot systems provided security against Iraq 's Scud missiles.
Turkey first met the Patriot system during the 1991 Gulf War. Patriots were successfully used against Iraqi Scuds by both Israel and Saudi Arabia . The air defence radars used by the land-based Patriot system can detect a target up to 100 km [ 62 miles] away destroying it within 15-20 seconds. Patriots have a range of 70 km [ 45 miles].
Patriot Alternatives s-300 s-400 Arrow-2
There are two alternatives to Patriot. The first is the Russian-built s-300 system. Turkey first heard of the s-300 when the Greek Cypriots purchased it for deployment in southern Cyprus in 1997. The s-300 system has a range of 150 km [ 90 miles], can reach an altitude of 27 km and can lock onto a target and fire within 8-10 seconds.
The third option is the Israeli Arrow-2. Produced with US help the Arrow-2 has a range of 100 km and can reach an altitude of 50 km.
Defence sources say that Russia has developed the s-400 after thes-300, and that this system outperforms both the Patriot and the Arrow. The same sources say that Russia is not currently offering the s-400 for sale but add that the s-400 may be purchased during talks for the s-300. The s-400 is known as a 5th generation air defence system. Its performance is double that of the s-300 with a range of 400 km. The s-300 can fire six missiles simultaneously while the s-400 can fire 12. They can hit targets travelling at 2,800 meters a second.
Low-Altitude, Medium Range Systems
Evaluations of bids for low-altitude, medium-range air defence systems are underway.
Defence Industry Under Secretary Bayar said that the next phase for the purchase of ready-to-go low-and medium-altitude air defence systems would be calling for bids.
No High Altitude Systems In TSK Inventory
There is currently no system in the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] inventory for long-range missile and air defence. Turkey still uses the Rapier and pedestal-mounted Stinger for short-range defence and the modernized I-HAWK for medium range defence.
How The System Works
High-altitude, long-range air defence systems are aimed at destroying long-range missile threats before they enter Turkey 's air space.
During the operation of high-altitude air-defence systems once it has been determined that enemy missiles are headed for Turkey the air defence systems and their associated batteries are alerted, also with satellite help.
Air defence systems are able to stop enemy missiles some 50-300 km away.
Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara , in Turkish 0704 gmt 10 Aug 08