ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's government has decided to scrapped a multibillion dollar $3.44 billion program for the to construct ion of the country's first long-range air and anti-missile defense system.

Procurement officials said that a decision for the cancellation of a three-way, Chinese-European-US race was looming already.

"The decision will be formalized at the next meeting of the Ccommittee." The Ccommittee is the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Senior government officials said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushed for the cancellation of the program at a meeting early in November.

They The officials said the cancellation will not mean that Turkey will not take foreign know-how; . Ssome systems can also be purchased from a know-how partner as a bridge-gap solution.

The contract will now most likely become "indigenous" as the government considers commissioning the work to military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey's biggest defense firm, and missile maker Roketsan. Both companies are state controlled.

Only a few weeks ago, at the end of October, Turkey's top procurement official, Ismail Demir, said that Ankara reached a "certain clarity" in its pending decision on the air defense system. "We are reviewing several parameters. We want to make a decision without a further extension," Demir said.

In September 2013 Turkey selected China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. for the program, dubbed T-LORAMIDS. CPMIEC's offer came at $3.44 billion.

But u Under pressure from its NATO allies Turkey also launched parallel talks with two wWestern rivals, a partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, maker of the Patriot system, and the European Eurosam, maker of the SAMP/T.

Burak Ege Bekdil was the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.

More In Home