Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems have teamed up to compete for a $600 million Turkish defence force unmanned air vehicle UAV programme. This is the first time the two have co-operated on a UAV acquisition, as the two companies are normally bitter business rivals.

Turkey has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a variety of short- and medium-range UAVs, with a mix of payloads.

General Atomics has also been down selected and is offering the Predator and the Ignat. To improve their chances, the two Israeli companies are teaming as the Israel Unmanned Partnership under IAI's leadership. The team plans to offer IAI's Heron and Elbit's Hermes 1500.

Both competitors will have to link up with three Turkish organisations - aircraft manufacturer TAI, engine specialist TUSAS and avionics supplier Alesan - as part of their proposals.

Almost all previous co-operation efforts by IAI and Elbit have failed. The tension between the two companies recently reached a new peak, when Elbit employed an IAI employee to work in the Indian market. A court decision was needed to settle the dispute.

Source: Flight International