U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing has silently delivered the first airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to Turkey under a program that was launched more than a decade ago. Now, however, the buyer and the seller are wrangling over penalties for delays.
The defense procurement agency, the undersecretariat for defense industries (SSM), and the Turkish Air Force simultaneously announced Jan. 31 that the AEW&C aircraft had arrived in Turkey for acceptance tests. The tests are to be followed by an inauguration ceremony Feb. 21 at the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in Konya, they said.
Last year, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said Turkey would impose sanctions on Boeing for the delays. Under a July 23, 2003, contract priced at more than $1.6 billion, Boeing was to develop and deliver four AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish Air Force by 2008. The program involved the delivery of the 737-700 airframe, ground radar and control systems, ground control segments for mission crew training, mission support and maintenance support.
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