Brazil, Turkey agree on closer defense links

May 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM
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SAO PAULO, May 8 (UPI) -- Brazil and Turkey have agreed on closer defense links that promise to allow each arms manufacturer a greater share of the global aviation and military sales.

Like Brazil, Turkey is an emerging defense manufacturer with eyes on a global market where Western manufacturers risk being priced out. Turkey's military manufacturing tradition predates Brazil's capacity building for export-oriented development of aircraft and weapons.

In the latest contacts between the two governments, Brazil and Turkey set out plans to boost military ties and technology transfers between the two sides.

Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim and Turkish counterpart Ismet Yilmaz met in Sao Paulo and signed a letter of intent formalizing a move to "develop cooperation between the defense industries of both countries, including technology transfer and joint projects," a joint statement said.

Yilmaz said Turkey is interested in sharing Brazil's aerospace, cybernetics and unmanned aerial craft technologies. Turkish plans include building the capacity to manufacture aircraft, including unmanned airborne vehicles.

Senior officials from the countries' state-backed defense industries conferred formally in October 2011 and have been holding consultations on developing their collaboration.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced during a visit to Ankara last year the two countries were emerging as world powers and have many economic growth trends in common. During her visit the two countries moved toward a closer relationship with vows to boost trade and economic and technical collaboration.

In May 2010 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Brazil and announced an action plan for greater cooperation.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said the two countries aim to increase their trade from $2 billion in 2011 to $10 billion "in a very short period of time."

Turkey's five-year defense strategic plan has actually set completion dates for developing military aviation, defense shipyards and aerospace capability for launching satellites.

The inventory includes aircraft and helicopters, destroyers and frigates, satellites and tanks.

A Turkish-made tank is scheduled to roll out by 2015, and an unmanned aerial vehicle is due to be ready next year.

Turkey says it has spent or signed contracts for a total value of $27.3 billion as part of its plans to develop its defense manufacturing capacity. Turkish officials aim to secure Brazilian help with aviation and aerospace, as the Latin American country is now competing with U.S. and European manufacturers to supply executive jets, passenger and patrol aircraft.

Brazilian defense manufacturer Embraer has set sights on competing for a share of the market for tactical military transport, including C-130 Hercules and its successors.

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