Eurosam has until the end of April to resubmit its Aster 30 missile for Turkey's air and missile defense competition. (Eurosam)
ANKARA — US and European bidders still interested in winning Turkey’s air defense contract now have until April 30 to submit their proposals, following a three-month extension instituted by Turkey.
The bidders originally had until the end of this month to submit bids for Turkey’s first air and missile defense system, for which it initially selected a Chinese manufacturer.
The bidders comprise a partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, makers of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system, and the European group Eurosam, maker of the Aster 30 missile.
In September, Turkey said it selected China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. (CPMIEC) to build the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system. CPMIEC’s bid was priced at $3.44 billion, according to Muray Bayar, Turkey’s top procurement official.
Turkey has been in contract negotiations with CPMIEC but, under increasing pressure from its NATO allies, it also has urged rival US and European bidders to improve their offers.
“The extension is an indication that we encourage improved rival offers,” said one senior procurement official. “We are in talks with the Chinese manufacturer, but that does not mean we have finalized a deal.”
Meanwhile, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who accompanied French President François Hollande during his state visit to Turkey on Jan. 27, met with Bayar to discuss the competition.
Turkey said in September that Eurosam’s offer ranked second while the US solution came third. The fourth bidder, the Russian maker of the S-300/400, was eliminated from the contest.