The first phase of an integrated military communications system has finally been awarded to a venture led by Germany’s Siemens who bid lowest at $212.2 million.

The state Turk Telekomunikasyon is handling the Turkish armed forces integrated communications system (TAFICS), which has been tendered several times.

The Siemens venture also includes Turk Siemens and two other local companies, Simko and Maktas. Three other bids ranged up to $286.9 million (MEED 17:5:96).

The project calls for the installation of a communications system using fibre optics for the military, which will also have civilian uses. The project components are a power system, transmission system, switching systems, network surveillance and control subsystems, and civil works.

Completion of the first stage will take about 45 months. With four stages in total, the whole TAFICS programme is scheduled to take 20 years.