25.12.2012 WASHINGTON / ANKARA
As Turkey plans developing its national naval vehicles, a US bill to the House of Representatives suggests granting guided missile frigates to Turkey. The bill angers a particular Hellenic-US group
A recent bill has been submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives that would authorize President Barack Obama to grant the provision of guided missile-firing naval vessels to Turkey, along with several other countries, including Thailand and Mexico.
Under the motion, Turkey may receive the USS Halyburton (FFG–40) and the USS Thach (FFG–43) ships.
USS Halybutron is the 34th ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided-missile frigates and according to an official U.S. Navy website, the USS Thach also possesses the capacity.
The Turkish Naval Forces already posses “short-hull” Oliver Hazard Perry frigates, which were modified with the ASIST landing platform system at the Gölcük Naval Shipyard by the country’s Marmara Sea so they can now accommodate S-70B Seahawk helicopters. The move comes at a time when Turkey is bidding to develop its national corvettes and frigates along with missiles. SOM, the stand-off cruise against both land and sea targets, is one example.
The bill has angered the Washington-based Hellenic-American Leadership Council (HALC), which has begun pursuing action to halt the transaction, its official website has said.
The bill was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on Dec. 11 and the Greek group’s reaction was first covered by Turkish daily Vatan yesterday.