(AFP, ANKARA) - Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said Friday that Ankara has decided to buy 26 A400Ms, large military transport aircraft being developed by Airbus.
"We will partipate in the project with an order for 26 aircraft. In this way, Turkey will meet its need for transport planes," Ecevit told reporters here, without giving details on the value of the order.
He added that Turkey would declare its intent to buy the turboprop aircraft on July 27 at the Farnborough airshow in Britain, which Turkish Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu would attend.
"Our target is for the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to have a share in the development of manufacturing in this project and thus bring employment and technological infrastructure to Turkey," Ecevit said.
The A400M is being developed by the Airbus Military Co., a subsidiary of civil aircraft consortium Airbus Industrie.
Its length and wingspan are just over 42 metres (138 feet), and it has seats for 120 troops.
Other countries that have expressed an interest include Germany, France, Belgium, Britain, Spain and Italy.
Airbus Industrie, which markets airliners, owns just over 50 percent of AMC. Airbus's shareholders are the new European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) and BAE Systems.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )