Turkey has decided not to hold a tender for the purchase of 145 helicopter gunships, other combat hardware and weapons; that tender involved Bell-Textron of the United States and Russia's Kamov helicopter company.
The executive committee of the Turkish Defense Ministry also renounced a tender for the purchase of 1,000 sophisticated main battle tanks worth $5 billion, as well as remotely piloted reconnaissance planes costing $1 billion, TANJUG news agency reported May 19.
Turkey first announced this tender in 1997, eventually postponing the final decision several times. Ankara and Bell-Textron began to negotiate a $4.5-billion deal in 2000, what with Russia's Kamov company joining the talks in 2002. The Turkish side kept demanding that local companies help assemble helicopters; meanwhile analysts were inclined to think this would raise production costs a great deal.
The Anadolu agency, which is the Turkish republic's official wire service, claims that the tender was renounced in order to ensure the sustained operation of local enterprises; quite possibly, this tender might be launched some time again in the future.
Turkish defense appropriations make up for 10 percent of its entire state budget.
It is assumed that the fighter will be created using new stealth technologies and have a very large interception range - up to 1,500 kilometers