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Turkey to pick new missile defence system soon

Written By THA on Friday, 29 June 2012 | 14:38

Turkey deployed air defence weaponry along its border with Syria on Thursday, following Syria's downing of a Turkish warplane over the Mediterranean last Friday. REUTERS Photo

Turkey is to pick a new long-range air defence missile system soon, as tension builds with neighbouring Syria, media and foreign diplomats said today.

Companies vying for the four billion dollar (3.2 billion euro) contract include Raytheon and Lockheed Martin of the United States, Rosoboronexport of Russia, CPMIEC of China and the French-Italian consortium, Eurosam, they said.

A Western diplomatic source said a shortlist would be announced on July 11 or 12.

The news comes a week after Syria shot down a Turkish warplane, prompting Turkey to start beefing up its forces along their lengthy border with anti-aircraft guns, missile batteries and tanks.

Turkey also hosts a NATO early warning radar as part of a new defence system aimed at protecting Europe from missiles coming from the Middle East, notably Iran. (ISTANBUL - Agence France-Presse)
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