ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey and Ukraine have agreed to share technology in order to jointly develop and build satellites, Turkish military officials said.
Turkey's state-controlled military software company Havelsan and Ukraine's weapons systems concern Ukroboronprom signed a memorandum of understanding to join forces on satellite technology with a view to joint development and production, the officials said, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A military official said the memorandum of understanding also involves cooperation to advance aerospace industry work in the future.
"We are pleased to observe that Ukraine is keen to share and develop technology with a NATO member state," a Turkish procurement official said. "We think we can efficiently cooperate in developing international [NATO] standard systems."
In February, the two countries, both Russian adversaries, have pledged to build a "strategic" cooperation in the defense industry with a view to co-design, co-develop and co-produce gear.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on Feb. 15 to bolster the regional anti-Russian bloc. On the sidelines of that visit procurement, and defense technology officials from Turkey and Ukraine met and agreed to boost their defense industry cooperation.
Turkey's top procurement official, Ismail Demir, said that defense industry cooperation with Ukraine was of great importance and would progress even further.
A Turkish government official said that Turkey and Ukraine aimed cooperation primarily in turbojet aircraft engines, radars, military communications technologies and navigation systems.
In December, Turkey's and Ukraine's biggest defense firms began negotiations that will most likely end up in a cooperation deal for tank modernization programs. Turkish Aselsan and Ukroboronprom said they were exploring ways to undertake joint programs designed to upgrade tanks.
Burak Ege Bekdil is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News. He has written for Hurriyet Daily News, and worked as Ankara bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Middle East Quarterly and Gatestone Institute.