May 14, 2003 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Turkish procurement officials proclaimed that Turkey may cancel a $35 million contract with Elbit Systems to supply photoreconnaissance systems to the Turkish Air Force, due to delivery delays.
The Turkish officials said Turkey
might also apply the compensation clause in the contract for delays in fulfilling the order
Elbit Systems was due to supply air reconnaissance EI/OR LOROP (long range oblique photography) camera pods, based on Ofek reconnaissance satellite technology.
Elbit Systems contracted to deliver 42 pods and a small number of ground receiver stations to the Turkish Air Force.
The delivery date stipulated in the contract appears to be inflexible, based on operational needs. The Turkish Air Force planned to install the pods on its F-16 and F-4 Phantom reconnaissance jets before, during and after the US invasion of Iraq.
Elbit Systems spokesman Arie Tal said the delivery delays were due to the system's complexity. He said the Ministry of Defense and the pertinent Israeli and Turkish companies were negotiating "to determine agreed-upon delivery dates as early as possible, in order to successfully complete the project.