Turkish company chaired by US sanctions-hit official wins Nato intelligence software contracts

Turkish company chaired by US sanctions-hit official wins Nato intelligence software contracts
Ismail Demir, sanctioned over S-400s purchase. / screengrab
By bne IntelIiNews February 2, 2023

Turkey's STM Savunma Teknolojileri Muhendislik has won a tender to develop a software system for Nato’s intelligence infrastructure, the government-run company said on January 28.

Notably, STM is a unit of Turkey’s Defence Industry Agency (SSB). SSB is headed by Ismail Demir. He has been sanctioned by the US in relation to Washington's objections to Ankara's acquisition of S-400 advanced missile defence systems from the Kremlin. Demir serves as board chairman at STM.

The Nato Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) evaluated proposals from companies in Nato member states for two projects. It awarded both contracts to STM.

STM’s success comes at a time when Turkey has so frustrated other Nato members with its refusal to wave through Sweden and Finland’s applications to join the defence bloc that some commentators have suggested there could be calls for Turkey to be booted out of the military alliance to clear the way for the Nordic countries. In his latest remarks on the applications, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on February 1 that Turkey looks positively on Finland's application to join Nato, but does not support Sweden's bid. Obstacles to Swedish membership of Nato raised by Erdogan include the alleged presence of Kurdish “terrorists” in Sweden that Ankara wants extradited.

The two projects won by STM are officially named Intelligence Functional Services (INTEL-FS 2) - Spiral 2 and BMD functions in INTEL-FS Backend Services (I2BE) and User Applications (I2UA).

Following pre-award discussions, both contracts were signed by STM and NCI Agency. The INTEL-FS2 Project kick-off meeting was held at NCI Agency’s headquarters in The Hague.

The intelligence process of all the Nato commands around the world will be carried out through the system in question.

The INTEL-FS2 Project is to be completed in three and a half years. The INTEL-FS2 project is based on one of the largest contracts ever won by a Turkish company from NCI Agency in terms of total contract value.

STM has previously completed two projects for Nato, namely NATO SHAPE Integrated Elasticity Decision Support Model and NATO Integration Core Project.