Turkey’s controversial and multibillion-dollar program for the construction of the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system, dubbed T-LORAMIDS, has looked sluggish in its public posture over the past few months, but it has been exposed to even further complications behind the scenes.

A senior official from the defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), said that although the decision to award the contract to a Chinese contender was the right thing to do “under the specified parameters,” things look different today. “The technical parameters remain but non-technical parameters have entered the equation.”

According to a Defense Ministry official , the problems surrounding the program today date back several years when a consortium of European defense firms decided to build the Eurosam system on their own. “If at that time they thought about inviting Turkey to the program, today we would not even be talking about a competition,” the official said. […]