Two months after Israel cancelled a $141 million deal with the Turkey's air force, Turkish media reported on Wednesday that Ankara is readying to turn to the International Court of Justice over the breached contract.
In December, the Defense Ministry decided not to provide Turkey with intelligence equipment due to the strained ties between the two nations and concerns that Ankara could hand over the cutting-edge technology to third parties hostile to Israel.
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The equipment in question, manufactured by the Israel Aerospace Industry and Elbit Systems, was an aerial intelligence system based on electro-optic sensors and meant for Turkish aircraft. The advanced system has already been installed on Israeli jets.
The deal was nixed weeks before the system's parts were to be delivered.
'Turkey to sue Israel'
The Turkish newspaper Haber Turk alleged on Wednesday that the deal was worth $165 million, and that the Israeli manufacturers were paid an advance a year after the deal was singed in 2008.
According to the report, the system was set to be installed aboard the Turkish air force's Phantoms planes. The cancellation left the aircraft bare of any digital equipment, meaning that in order for images collected on surveillance expeditions to reach the appropriate base the planes have to land, and the photographs have to be developed and printed.
Haber Turk reported that the new technology would have allowed the planes to capture digital images from a 150-km range and transfer the data to the home base from the air.
Turkish media also said that the Israeli companies were supposed to ship the systems beginning in 2011, but the deliveries were pushed to April 2012.
According to the report, if the equipment is not delivered by that deadline, Turkey intends to demand compensation from the companies, and will later file a complaint with the International Court of Justice.
The Defense Ministry might find itself at the center of the proceedings, because it was the agency that ordered the annulment of the deal. The ministry said it was unfamiliar with the reports. The Israel Aerospace Industry refused to comment.
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