TURKEY IS EMERGING as a potential partner in the European Long-Range (LR) Trigat anti-tank-missile programme to fill the hole left when the UK decided not to procure the missile as part of its attack-helicopter purchase.

Initially, Turkish interest is understood to be in a vehicle-mounted variant of the missile, although it also has a requirement for an attack helicopter.

A Turkish purchase would also help offset reductions in the French order for the LR Trigat following cuts in the number of Tiger attack helicopters it is to purchase. Sources close to the Trigat programme say that Turkey's interest extends to the LR and medium-range versions of the missile. Turkish involvement in the project will require approval from the French and German Governments, however.

Despite the UK's decision not to procure the LR Trigat missile, British Aerospace's involvement appears to be relatively secure for the moment. Along with partners German company Daimler-Benz Aerospace and Aerospatiale of France, the UK company makes up the Euromissile Dynamics Group (EMDG).

BAe is responsible for final production of the LR Trigat missile. In the wake of the UK attack-helicopter decision, it was expected that France and Germany would re-allocate the UK workshare.

EMDG now says that it is not in the interests of France or Germany to cut the UK out of the programme. Trade-offs on unspecified workshare issues are believed to have helped the UK.

The British Army also has a requirement for an anti-tank-missile-equipped variant of its future armoured vehicle, which is now in the procurement phase.

The EMDG consortium is pushing the LR Trigat to meet this requirement, and retaining BAe will bolster its bid.

Source: Flight International