Italy emerging as major arms exporter to Turkey.

The United States remains Turkey’s largest provider of arms, mostly through sales to the Air Force, but Italy is becoming a rising recipient of Ankara’s commercial defense bids. Italian companies have scored two major contracts in recent years and are now vying for a third. Observers and officials cite complicated and strict U.S. regulations as the main reasons for the difficulty U.S. arms companies have in securing international commercial arms deals. Specifically stringent export laws and technology transfer issues hinder Turkey’s ability to do business with the U.S. companies. Italy and Britain have close political relations with Turkey and support Turkey’s eventual membership in the European Union.

Italian-British consortium, Agusta-Westland, was the successful bidder for the re-bid attack helicopter contract. It is this year a rigorous competitor against US-based Sikorsky Aircraft for the joint production of more than 100 Blackhawk-type helicopters for the Turkish military and civilian agencies. 

Source: Hurriyet Daily

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