Turkey 'to break defence contract with France'

20th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

ANKARA, April 20 (AFP) - Turkey is planning to call off a multi-million dollar contract with France for the joint production of Eryx anti-tank missiles because their performance has proven unsatisfactory, a Turkish newspaper said Tuesday.

ANKARA, April 20 (AFP) - Turkey is planning to call off a multi-million dollar contract with France for the joint production of Eryx anti-tank missiles because their performance has proven unsatisfactory, a Turkish newspaper said Tuesday.

The USD 440 million (EUR 370 million) project - signed in 1998 with Aerospatiale of France, which merged into the MBDA arms company in 2002 - envisaged the joint production in Turkey of 10,000 short-range anti-tank missiles to be used by the infantry.

According to the mass-circulation Milliyet daily, the Turkish army has found serious targetting problems with the missiles, which had only a "maximum hit percentage of 72 percent".

Turkish defence insdustry officials refused to comment on the report, but acknowledged that there were "snags" in the project.

Turkey has already paid 310 million dollars for the project, but is still considering going ahead with the cancellation if a final test to be carried out in May also proves unsatisfactory, Milliyet said.

Eryx missiles have equipped many armies, including French, Malaysian, Canadian and Norwegian forces, since 1993.

© AFP

                                                               Subject: French news

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