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Turkey denies scrapping purchase of Israel''s UAVs

ANKARA, Nov 21 (KUNA) -- Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul denied Saturday press reports suggesting that Turkey canceled an agreement with Israel to purchase Heron reconnaissance pilotless airplanes with USD 200 million after the discovery of defects in their performance.
Gonul, speaking to reporters, said the agreement was not cancelled but the Israeli side was given a 50-day period to complete the requirements listed in the contract which was signed last year. Gonul did not elaborate on the requirements.
He said Turkey has some remarks regarding technical defects in the Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and delay in delivery.
Gonul said there were no political reasons behind the delivery delay, but the Israelis were having troubles concerning the requirements of the Turkish side.
Turkey decided last year to purchase the Heron to use it against Kurdish rebels.
Israel was supposed to deliver the first airplane early this year but the Turkish army discovered technical defects during the tests, particularly altitude and flying time.
The news reports suggested that Turkish defense ministry has sent letters through special channels to Israel saying that it was considering the cancelation of the deal if the defects were not repaired before end of this year. (end) mm.bs KUNA 211947 Nov 09NNNN