Invest News DetailHurriyet - European defense and aerospace group Eurocopter has chosen to equip its helicopters with Turkish-made imaging systems and rockets. Aselsan, the state-owned producer of high-tech military equipment ranging from radios to fire control units, will supply thermal imaging systems to Eurocopter’s EC-635 model multipurpose helicopter, while rocket and missile manufacturer Roketsan’s Cirit rockets will arm the aircraft. “Turkish defense products are cost effective, high quality, and come free of export limitations,” said Thomas Hein, Eurocopter’s Vice-President for Sales and Customer Relations in Europe. “Eurocopter has been in Turkey for a long time, and is open to new partnerships,” said Hein, stating their intention to cooperate with Turkish defense companies. The German-French-Spanish company is vying for the helicopter tender of the Turkish police forces. EC-635’s default configuration will be equipped with the Aselsan-made imaging system, and the aircraft will be able to carry Cirit rockets depending on the mission requirements. Portugal, Switzerland, the UAE, and Iraq are among the users of the aircraft, which has seen increased interest from customers in the Middle East. Turkey’s thriving defense industry is currently involved in multibillion dollar contracts for the production of military helicopters in partnership with Italy’s AgustaWestland and the US’ Sikorsky. The country’s defense exports are set to top USD 1 billion in 2011.