The problems surrounding Türkiye’s possible acquisition of the SAMP/T air defense system aim to be resolved in the near future, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday.
Speaking to Turkish journalists on the Indonesian island of Bali, where he just finished attending the G-20 summit, Erdoğan said that in his meeting with new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on the sidelines of the summit, Meloni expressed the desire to solve problems.
“There are some technical problems left, let’s solve them and solve the SAMP/T issue in France, Italy, Türkiye, in a short time,” Erdoğan quoted Meloni as saying.
The SAMP/T missile defense systems project belongs to the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium.
In January 2018, while Erdoğan was on a visit to France, Turkish partners Aselsan and Roketsan inked a deal with Eurosam for the Long Range Air and Missile Defense Project for a period of 18 months. However, the process drew to a halt due to France’s political stance, according to an earlier statement by Turkish defense officials.
The three-country missile program is designed to defend against threats from stealth aircraft, drones and missiles. The joint development works were also expected to support Türkiye’s domestic air and missile development program in addition to opening up prospects for exports and longer-term cooperation with Türkiye, Italy and France.
The Eurosam consortium is made up of European missile maker MBDA, itself a joint venture between Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo and Britain’s BAE Systems, and French defense contractor Thales, whose main shareholders are the French state and fighter jet maker Dassault Aviation.