Turkey signs agreement with Eurosam for SAMP/T Aster 30

Turkey has signed a cooperation agreement with the Eurosam Consortium to develop a new anti-defense system based on the French-Italian SAMP/T Aster 30, Turkish defense minister Fikri Isik announced.

“I am happy to announce that this afternoon Turkey has signed a cooperation agreement with Italian-French consortium Eurosam to produce missile defense systems,” the minister said during the Bastille Day reception  at the French embassy in Ankara on July 14. The agreement was first reported by the Anadolu news agency.

The agreement was signed with two Turkish state-controlled companies, Aselsan and Roketsan. The Eurosam consortium, based in Paris, is a joint venture between MBDA and  Thales.

The two-stage deal would first let Turkey import SAMP/T systems to bolster the country’s integrated air defense system, and then share technology with Turkey so it can co-produce the system with NATO allies. Ankara has been negotiating with Italian-French majority consortium for the NATO-compatible SAMP/T system since September reopening bidding when a 2013 decision to purchase the Chinese HQ-9 system was reversed.

Turkey’s plan to buy the S-400 Triumf air-defense system from Russia will remain undeterred and will be used as an interim solution to intercept threats at long ranges, out to 200 km and beyond. NATO had warned that if Turkey opts for the S-400, the country would be unable to integrate the system into its defense architecture.

About SAMP/T Aster 30:

ASTER 30 SAMP/T is a mobile anti-aircraft defence weapon for theatre protection manufactured by Eurosam, a European consortium consisting of MBDA France, MBDA Italy (combined 66%) and the Thales Group (33%).

The missile is designed to intercept and destroy a wide range of air threats, such as tactical ballistic missile (TBM), supersonic sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-radiation missiles (ARM) and other fast flying, high performance aircraft or missiles.

ASTER is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster which separates a few seconds after the vertical launch.

Up to its mid-course, the weapon is inertially guided, using refreshed target data transmitted by the engagement module through the multi-function radar.

During the homing phase, guidance is achieved by an electromagnetic active seeker providing a highly accurate capability in all weathers.

Aster is primarily operated by France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Sources: Daily Sabah, Anadolu, CSIS Missile Threat

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