Eurofighter to sell 40 Typhoon 2020 jets to Turkish Air Force

Fri 12 Nov 2010 02:43 GMT | 06:43 Local Time

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Italy and Turkey should carry their commercial relations to the strategic level, says Italy's deputy defence minister, Guido Crosetto.

A consortium based in Italy, from where Turkey already receives attack helicopters and military surveillance, wants to further boost its role in the Turkish defense market.

Eurofighter, a consortium of European aircraft makers, wants to sell 40 Eurofighter Typhoon 2020 jets to the Turkish Air Force, senior company officials said on Thursday.

"We are offering to Turkey the opportunity to jointly develop the Eurofighter 2020, the next version of the Eurofighter," said Marco Valerio Bonelli, head of public relations and communications at Eurofighter. "It wouldn't be parts production, but joint development."

"We would like to provide two squadrons of Eurofighters to Turkey," said Giorgio Zappa, director general of Finmeccanica, an Italian conglomerate, whose subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica is one of the makers of the Eurofighter.

Two Eurofighter squadrons consist of nearly 40 aircraft.

"Our cooperation [with Turkey] had been based mostly on industrial and commercial cooperation. Now we need to carry this cooperation to the strategic level, for 30 to 40 years," said Guido Crosetto, Italy's deputy defence minister.

"Today we are making together a helicopter, tomorrow we can move to another helicopter type, and then we can move to an aircraft," Crosetto said. "This matter will be one of the subjects I and [Turkish procurement chief] Murad Bayar will be talking about during my visit."

All three officials spoke to the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review at the opening of Finmeccanica's Ankara office. Senior Turkish and Italian officials attended the opening ceremony.

Finmeccanica is the second largest industrial group and the largest hi-tech industrial group based in Italy.

Hurriyet Daily News

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