Jan. 5 (UPI) — Turkey reinforced its partnership with Eurosam, Aselsan and Roketsan to further the country’s strategic cooperation in the development of its national security assets.

MBDA, a shareholder in Eurosam, announced on Friday the award of a contract to the three companies to study the future of long range air and missile defense system capabilities for Turkey.

The contract was awarded to the defense companies during a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

“Eurosam has been fully dedicated to air and missile defense since its inception in 1989 and has acquired world-class expertise as well as a unique experience of cooperation in this strategic and eminently sovereign domain,” Abdoulaye Sambe, managing director at Eurosam, said during the signing ceremony.

The contract calls for an 18-month study on the study of development and production of technology and hardware that would benefit the Turkish Air Force.

According to MBDA, the products and services that are borne of the study will meet the future basic operational needs of three different countries, including Turkey having “full employment autonomy and will allow a sovereign choice of integration level within NATO.”

The basic operational needs include stealth aircraft, unmanned aerial systems and variant missile types, from cruise to ballistic. The future system is expected to be delivered by the middle of the next decade.

“Today, we are proud to provide this know-how to the cooperation between France and Italy with their Turkish ally within NATO,” Samba said. “I am confident that this cooperation will also last several decades and will contribute to bringing our countries closer on a strategic level, as it has been the case for the last thirty years with France and Italy. “

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