Turkey will possibly sell its T129 helicopters, which were acquired from AugustaWestland, to Pakistan.
Speaking at an event hosted by İstanbul Düşünce Vakfı (Istanbul Thought Foundation), Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) General Manager Temel Kotil said that TAI is actively working to land a T-129 sale with Pakistan, Milliyet reported this week.
A T-129 was sent to Pakistan for tests in June 2016, in which its hot-and-high and endurance capabilities were examined.
TAI is also capable of exporting the T-129, particularly its CTS800 turboshaft (developed by Honeywell and Rolls-Royce), indicating that the company has the requisite export licenses.
Kotil reportedly claimed that TAI “will sell [T-129s] to Pakistan in the coming months.”
TAI acquired the T-129 from AgustaWestland as part of the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) requirement for new attack helicopters in 2008. The platform’s production was entirely transferred to Turkey.
Aselsan and Roketsan are providing the T-129’s onboard electronics and munitions, respectively. The Turkish company Meteksan is testing a millimeter wave radar for the T-129.
TAI and the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) consider Pakistan as a major prospective client, one that can provide the T-129 a strong “reference” for the aircraft, TAI and the Turkish defence industry.
However, Pakistan’s ability to fund big-ticket defence hardware is relatively strained, henceforth, it requires prospective suppliers to sell on affordability and term-based financing.
SSM cited the lack of financing mechanisms as an obstacle to its big-ticket defence exports. Turkey has offered to pilot financing with Pakistan as Turkey aims to become a defence and aerospace exporter.
Turkey has also agreed to extend a USD $400 million loan for Pakistan’s purchase of four MILGEM corvettes.
“Pakistan was satisfied with the T-129’s performance and weapons package (offered by Roketsan), and that it was upon Islamabad to call for formal negotiations,” TAI told MSI Turkish Defence Review during the 2016 International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), held in Karachi in November.