Turkey’s top priority when procuring its first long-range missile defense system is to bolster its own technological ability, a defense official said on Friday.

Turkey has chosen a Chinese company as the preferred bidder for the $3.4 billion project but is also pressing ahead with talks with U.S. and European firms as questions remain about the Chinese proposal, particularly over the technology transfer to boost the local defense industry.

“We would like this system to equip us with a certain capability. We would want the system we have to be the most advanced in 10-15 years time,” Undersecretary for Defence Industries Ismail Demir said at a meeting in Istanbul. […]