February 26, 2013: Israel has agreed to deliver (after a three year delay) $25 million of electronics needed to complete four Turkish AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control) aircraft. The delay was caused by increasing hostility between the Islamic politicians in Turkey and Israel. This led to a sharp decline in Israeli military equipment sales to Turkey.
Back in 2002 Turkey signed a one billion dollar contract with Boeing for the design, development, and construction of four AWACS type aircraft using the twin engine B-737 jet transport. These 737 transports were modified by Boeing for use as AWACDS. The cruise speed for the 737 is 910 kilometers an hour, and the AWACS version has a crew of 8-12 pilots and equipment operators, who use the search radar and various other sensors. The 78 ton 737 AWACS can stay in the air for more than ten hours per sortie.
The main cause of the Israeli delay in delivering the AWACS gear was a 2010 incident where Islamic terrorists, including several Turks, fought with Israeli commandoes on a Turkish ship trying to reach Gaza. An Islamic charity, IHH, organized the six ship flotilla meant to break the blockade. IHH had frequently been identified, over the last two decades, as a supporter of terrorist operations. Messages broadcast, by IHH terrorists on the ships, before the May 30th incident, indicated that the objective was to trigger a lethal battle with the Israelis and claim an unprovoked Israeli attack on peaceful demonstrators. The IHH operatives were quick to share their anti-Semitic, genocidal, and suicidal goals with anyone who cared to pay attention. But many in the West refuse to believe this kind of hate exists in this world. The Western mass media took the hint and the story of Hamas the Police State, and decades of Palestinian propaganda (in Arabic, anyway, they tell you what you want to hear in other languages) calling for the destruction of Israel and expulsion of Jews from the Middle East got ignored. Also ignored was the abundant Arabic discussion of how important Information War operations like this were because it has proved impossible to defeat Israel with conventional military operations (major Arab defeats in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973) or terrorism (the Palestinian campaign against Israeli civilians, begun in 2000, but was defeated by 2005, something the Palestinians don't like to discuss). A clearly stated Hamas objective is to amass a large stock of long range rockets, and other weapons, in Gaza and use them for another major attack on Israel. Iran has been caught trying to ship these weapons in, and they are trickling in via smuggling tunnels. Israel considers the blockade a matter of national security.
Turkey’s Islamic government backed itself into a corner by demanding Israel apologize for defending itself when halting the 2010 blockade-breaking ships. The Turks also demand compensation and an end to the Gaza blockade. This was despite the fact that the Turkish activists on the ships were videoed attacking the Israeli boarding party. The Turks will not back down and threatened to send warships to escort yet another group of blockade breakers. This was pretty extreme, as the Israeli Navy has a lot more combat experience and the Turks would be in waters long patrolled by the Israelis. This could easily escalate into an air war, another area where the Israelis have a lot more experience. The Arabs and Palestinians are all for this, as the Israelis have consistently defeated Arab forces but the Turks are seen as much more capable. The Turks have not withdrawn their demands but have reduced the aggressive rhetoric somewhat. Now, with the Syrian civil war going into its third years, the Israelis made a friendly gesture. The Israeli manufacturer of the electronics also wanted to complete the sale. Business, after all, is business.