Israel to deliver Herons by end of 2009, Turkey mulls penalty for delay

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by RPK, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Israel to deliver Herons by end of 2009, Turkey mulls penalty for delay

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    A top official at the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries has announced that Israel will deliver unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to Turkey by the end of 2009, adding that Turkey plans to impose a monetary penalty on Israel for the delay.

    Speaking to Today’s Zaman, the official stated that the long-delayed delivery is expected to happen in November or December at the latest. “Turkey plans to impose a heavy monetary penalty on Israel for the delay. If this country refuses to comply with the penalty, then Turkey will head to the International Court of Commercial Arbitration,” noted the official. According to the official, the penalty could mount to $3 million or $4 million. Turkey and Israel have recently been at odds due to Israeli-made surveillance drones, known as Herons. Earlier this week Turkey cancelled long-expected NATO air force exercises, which Turkish officials explained as a retaliation for the delay.

    Turkey agreed four years ago to buy 10 Heron UAVs for over $180 million from Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems, Ltd. However, the Israeli firms missed the deadline for delivery. The Israeli company was expected to deliver four Herons in August, followed by another two and then the last four by the end of October.

    What was problematic about the delivery of Herons was, according to Israeli engineers, the difficulty in the strengthening of Heron engines to enable local Aselsan-made electro-optical payloads (Aselfir300T) to be fitted onto the Heron UAVs. The Aselsan payload weighed more, which necessitated the strengthening of the Heron UAV engines.
     
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  3. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Well thats a lie. Turkey said they cancelled them because of Israeli attrocities in Gaza.
     
  4. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Turkey threatens to cancel Heron UAV deal

    In a sign of further tensions between Ankara and Jerusalem, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul issued an ultimatum on Saturday to Israeli industries, demanding they supply 10 long-awaited unmanned aerial vehicles to his country's military within 50 days.



    CNN Turk quoted Gonul as saying that he had sent a letter to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems to fulfill the $183 million deal - signed in 2005 - within 50 days. If the UAVs were not supplied, Gonul said he would cancel the tender.



    The ultimatum comes a month after the Turkish military canceled a scheduled aerial drill with the Israel Air Force days before it was supposed to begin. Ties between Jerusalem and Ankara have grown tenuous following Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, which elicited harsh criticism from Turkish leaders.



    "If this letter does not bear fruit either, the tender may be canceled. But there is no cancellation at the moment," Gonul was quoted as saying. Officials involved in the deal said on Saturday that an IAI and Elbit team flew to Ankara last week and held talks with Turkish defense officials. The Israeli defense industries will likely succeed in supplying the 10 UAVs in the coming weeks.





    Israeli officials said that the delays were the result of Turkish demands to install additional technology on the aircraft that is too heavy for them to carry. IAI and Elbit usually sell their UAVs with electro-optic sensors, but in this case the Turks wanted to install their own systems that turned out to be weightier than the permitted payload.



    On Sunday, National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer will fly to Ankara for talks with Gonul, in an effort to secure the deal and alleviate tensions between the countries. He will be accompanied by 20 leading businessman, including representatives of Israeli defense industries.



    "Turkey has a very special place in my heart and special relationship with Israel," Ben-Eliezer said. "As a democratic, Muslim country, Turkey has the ability to bridge the gaps between us and our neighbors and help promote normalization and coexistence in the region."
     

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