Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said he sees opportunities for increased Turk-US cooperation on scientific research. (US Department of Defense)
WASHINGTON — Turkey wants the US Defense Department to appoint a special ombudsman who could oversee technology transfer between Washington and Ankara, a senior Turkish defense official said Monday.
The ombudsman could facilitate communications and deal with issues between DoD and the Turkish defense industry to “better help us understand the reasons for delays or denials of export licenses,” Ismail Demir, undersecretary for defense industries, said Monday at an American Turkish Council conference.
Demir made the request for the US ombudsman while appearing on a panel with Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.
DoD currently has an ombudsmen that helps foreign companies understand Pentagon contracting rules and regulations.
“If Turkey is looked at very carefully, there are many companies [that could] be first-, second- or third-tier suppliers to many important US companies, not only in defense, [but] also in some other areas,” Demir said.
Kendall said there is increased potential for the US and Turkey to cooperate more on research partnerships, such as expanding scientist and engineer exchanges.
“It’s an area I’ll look at and see what we can do together,” he said.
Turkey is a development partner on the US-led F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.■