Wendell Minnick

The Turkish preference for a Chinese air defense system rocked the Western defense industry, and now US firms are hitting back, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News.

Wendell Minnick:

Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense company, has become the first casualty of what could become a series of US sanctions on Turkish firms slated to help build an air defense system with the Chinese.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a US investment bank, has pulled out of a joint bid to advise Aselsan on the company’s second listing on Istanbul’s stock exchange, citing Turkey’s contract negotiations with China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. (CPMIEC) to build the country’s first long-range anti-missile air-defense system.

An Aselsan official confirmed Merrill Lynch’s withdrawal from a joint bid with Turkey’s Halkbank, but shrugged off the move.

“That’s hardly a blow to our planned listing,” he said. “We’ll go ahead … possibly selecting another bank for the task.”

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