A defense industry cooperation agreement between Turkey and Tunisia provides the basis for the joint production and modernization of military and defense materiel while opening the Tunisian market to Turkish defense conglomerates.
Turkish-Tunisian defense industry cooperation has been boosted in recent years in accordance with the deal, and Turkey exported $150 million worth of military equipment to Tunisia last year, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), various types of armored vehicles, tanker trucks and electro-optical systems.
In the text of the agreement, available on the Turkish parliament’s website, the two countries pledge to cooperate in the industrial production and modernization of, in particular, spare parts, tools, defense materials, military systems and technical displays and equipment required by the armed forces of the two countries.
The agreement was signed on May 10, 2017 in İstanbul by then-Minister of Defense Fikri Işık and Tunisian Defense Minister Farhat Horchani on the sideline of the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) organized by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF), which directly or indirectly controls Turkey’s major defense contractors.
The 12-page defense industry cooperation agreement is posted below:Turkey_Tunisia
In the last week of December, Turkey’s Defense Industries Presidency (Savunma Sanayii Başkanlığı, or SSB) announced that Tunisia had become the first export customer of Turkey’s Anka-S Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and that five Turkish companies had exported various military equipment to the country in 2020.
“Turkish Aerospace Industries’ [TAI] Anka-S UAVs, BMC’s Kirpi [mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle], Nurol Makina’s Ejder Yalcin armored vehicles, Katmerciler’s various vehicles including tanker trucks and tank carriers, and ASELSAN’s electro-optic systems will be in the service of Tunisia’s security forces,” Ismail Demir, head of the SSB, tweeted following an online meeting with Tunisian officials.
According to the Turkish media the Tunisian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract valued at almost $80 million with TAI for the purchase of three Anka-S (Phoenix) combat drones. The contract includes three combat drones in addition to three ground control systems and the training of 52 Tunisian Air Force personnel. The financing of the exports will be provided through Türk Eximbank, Turkey’s export credit agency. According to the Turkish media, the bank will provide $80 million in loans to Tunisia.
Anka-S is the serial production variant of the Anka medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV, which was developed by TAI for the Turkish armed forces.
Article 4 underlines that the parties should focus on “selling, purchasing or exchange, in line with the relevant legislation of the Parties, of surplus defense industry products and services,” adding that they will assist each other “in the fields of production and procurement of Defense Industry Goods and Services as well as the modernization of tools and equipment of both Parties.”
According to the deal, Turkey and Tunisia will conclude complementary agreements “with the aim of joint production and further development of weapons, military technical equipment and their parts.”
The detailed agreement lays out 15 areas of collaboration including the development, production, procurement and maintenance of defense goods and services, cooperation between military technical institutions and defense industry companies, implementation of joint research projects, the selling of defense materiel, the exchange of information and relevant documents, technical visits to research centers, and the encouragement of technology transfer.
In accordance with Article 7, the two sides will form a joint commission to implement provisions of the agreement similar to Turkey’s bilateral deals with other states. The joint commission will be responsible for the determination and definition of concrete fields of cooperation, the selection of joint projects, the exchange of information, the submission of proposals, recommendations and opinions to the relevant authorities, ensuring the preparation and publication of necessary documents for realization of approved projects and decisions, and regular supervision of the approved projects.
The parties will mutually be considered “as equally privileged customers in case of procurement contracted with both countries defense companies” in line with Article 11 of the agreement.
Article 9 also sets forth conditions on the handling of classified information and documents produced or provided under the agreement, specifying how they will be exchanged, used and protected.
The terms of the agreement will be executed by the defense ministries of both sides. The deal is valid for five years and will automatically be extended for successive terms of one year. According to the agreement, either party may notify the other at any time of the intent to terminate.