Israel, whose relations with Turkey have been strained since its troops staged the deadly attack on the Turkish ship in 2010, has finally agreed to send additional electronic systems to Turkey, which will integrate those systems into its Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) military aircraft purchased from the US.
Israeli company IAI-Elta is manufacturing the electronic support system for the four aircraft, with the cost of the project amounting to $25 million.
Turkey bought four AWACS-compatible aircraft from the US in the early 2000s to beef up its intelligence capabilities. A contract to install the electronic equipment to integrate the warning system with military planes was won by Israel, which earlier delivered two of the planned systems. However, it announced in 2011, following tension that began with the passenger ship attack, that it would not be delivering the remaining two systems.
However, Tel Aviv has apparently changed its mind and has delivered the remaining parts to Ankara. The system is now at a Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) facility in Ankara. The integration of the additional parts into AWACS will be completed in weeks to come.
The system allows a military aircraft to protect itself from electronic attacks targeting its controls during a flight. (Cihan/Today's Zaman)
File video of Awacs take off area