For a fifth time since September, Turkey’s procurement authorities extended a deadline for all three bidders in a disputed air defense contract to submit their renewed proposals.

Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), said on Tuesday that the new deadline was set for Dec. 31. The previous deadline was this coming Sunday.

SSM said it is natural for its assessment of bids to take a long time “due to the very complex nature of the program.” […]