The US-based company General Dynamics has reportedly tightened the screws in a high powered bidding procedure, the end-goal of which is to win a $600-million tender to upgrade 170 M60 tanks operated by the Turkish armored corps.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the Pentagon offered to lease the Turkish Armed Forces M1A1 Abrams tanks until a definite decision on the modernization program is made. This, the newspaper stated, is considered a serious blow to the United States’ primary competitor for the contract—Israel.
Up until 1999, the Israel Military Industries was considered the only bidder on the Turkish tank upgrade project, following an agreement it made with the US-based General Dynamics, which manufactures the A1 Abrams, according to which the Israelis would not offer their Merkava tank in a Turkish tender for a new, third-generation main battle tank.
But, in the wake of the recent financial crisis, when Turkey suspended 32 defense projects worth $20 billion, including freezing its plan to purchase a new battle tank, General Dynamics ruled that it was no longer bound by its agreement with Israel not to bid on the upgrade of the Turkish tanks. — (MENA Report)
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