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World

Turkey to expand military cooperation with Pakistan, for coveted Chinese military technology

  • Turkey has been reportedly pushing to co-manufacture warplanes and missiles in Pakistan, which could potentially grant it access to coveted military technology from China.
Updated 02 Mar 2021

Turkey has been reportedly pushing to co-manufacture warplanes and missiles in Pakistan, which could potentially grant it access to coveted military technology from China.

Turkish government and defense officials have held periodic discussions with their Pakistani counterparts, with the last high-level round of talks being held in January, pertaining to the development and manufacturing of military hardware.

There has been no update on the status of these discussions, and how close to an agreement the involved parties are.

Turkey views nuclear-power Pakistan as a key strategic ally, and as a potential partner in building its long-range missile defense project and the TF-X fighter jet, according to sources close to the matter.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed the “very serious potential” for collaboration with Pakistan on defense projects, with Pakistani Defense Secretary Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain meeting top Turkish officials in December.

The countries already have some cooperation in the defense industry, including co-producing warships.

Turkish adoption of Chinese military technology could potentially cause new frictions with the United States, which would see Ankara move further away from the western military alliance.

Washington is already sanctioning Turkey for buying a missile-defense system from Russia, and has suspended Turkish companies from participating in the development of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 stealth fighter jet.

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