Air Defense: November 28, 1999


With the reopening of the Rapier-2 anti-aircraft missile production line in England, the Turks have decided to buy the parts to assemble 800 of the missiles. Three Turkish companies will produce some of the parts. Matra-Bae is planning to market the new production missiles (which include various improvements) to new and existing Rapier users including Oman, Singapore, Switzerland, and Australia.--Stephen V Cole

Turkey is still looking for a new air defense system with anti-missile capabilities. The US has offered to sell Turkey the recently retired Improved Hawk missiles, but the Turks want something more modern. The US has offered Patriot PAC-3 and the Medium Extended-range Air Defense System (MEADS), but the Turks are pressuring the US to provide the Israeli Arrow-2 (which is, at least technically, a joint US-Israeli project). The Turks want the Arrow-2 since it can protect large areas (Turkey is, after all, a fairly big country) while the Patriot can only protect limited targets such as a single city or base. --Stephen V Cole


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