ANKARA (Reuters) - Britain and Turkey signed a defense deal worth more than 100 million pounds on Saturday to develop Turkish fighter jets, opening the way to deeper cooperation over the lifetime of the project.
In Ankara to strengthen ties with Turkey as she navigates Britain’s departure from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May hailed the deal, saying it showed “that Britain is a great, global, trading nation and that we are open for business”.
The deal, announced by May and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, involves BAE Systems and TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries) working together to develop the TF-X Turkish fighter program.
BAE Systems chief executive, Ian King, said the deal was the next step in deepening defense cooperation.
“It will also pave the way for a deeper defense partnership and could effectively make the UK Turkey’s partner of choice, positioning it as a key aerospace technology exporter to Turkey,” he said in a statement.
“The wider program could see the UK win contracts to provide engines, weapons, radars and sensors.”
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by David Dolan