The Turkish preference for a Chinese air defense system rocked the Western defense industry, and now US firms are hitting back, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News.
Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense company, has become the first casualty of what could become a series of US sanctions on Turkish firms slated to help build an air defense system with the Chinese.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a US investment bank, has pulled out of a joint bid to advise Aselsan on the company’s second listing on Istanbul’s stock exchange, citing Turkey’s contract negotiations with China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. (CPMIEC) to build the country’s first long-range anti-missile air-defense system.
An Aselsan official confirmed Merrill Lynch’s withdrawal from a joint bid with Turkey’s Halkbank, but shrugged off the move.
“That’s hardly a blow to our planned listing,” he said. “We’ll go ahead … possibly selecting another bank for the task.”