Turkey will make its planned new long-range missiles compatible with the NATO's systems, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday, in comments apparently at odds with those of the country's defense minister.
NATO member Turkey chose China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp as a preferred bidder in 2013 to supply the missile system, prompting Western concern about security and the compatibility of the weaponry with NATO infrastructure.
Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said last week Ankara did not plan to integrate the new defense system with NATO systems, adding to those concerns.
But Kalin said on Monday: “As one of the most important countries in NATO's security line, we will definitely ensure this integration and harmony.”
In a written response to a parliamentary question on Thursday, Yilmaz said the evaluation of bids had been completed and no new offers received but government officials later made clear that did not mean a final decision had been reached.
Eurosam, which is owned by Franco-Italian missile maker MBDA and France's Thales, came in second in the 2013 tender. U.S.-listed Raytheon Co also put in an offer with its Patriot missile defense system, which is now operated by 13 countries around the world.