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Turkey confirms sale of 30 T129 attack helicopters to Pakistan
Lale Sariibrahimoglu, Ankara - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
16 July 2018
Ankara has signed an agreement with Islamabad for the sale of 30 T129 ATAK combat helicopters for the Pakistan Army in a move described by the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSB) – formerly the Turkish Defence Industries Undersecretariat (SSM) – as “the largest single export in the history of the Turkish defence industry”.
“Contract negotiations on T129 ATAK helicopters between Turkish Aerospace Industries [TAI] and the Pakistani Ministry of Defense Production have been officially finalised,” SSB announced in a 13 July statement.
Turkey first revealed the sale of the T129s to Pakistan in the political manifesto that the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) released in May.
Delivery of the helicopters is expected to take place in increments over the coming five years, according to the local defence industry sources.
While the value of the deal was not officially disclosed, it is believed to be worth about USD1.5 billion, with manufacturer TAI revealing in a separate statement that the contract also features “a comprehensive package including logistics, ammunition, spares, ground support equipment, and training”.
TAI describes the T129 ATAK as “a new-generation, tandem-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance purposes”, featuring “state-of-the-art avionics and [an] asymmetric weapon delivery capability”, which provides “highly mobile and lethal attack capability against personnel, ground, and air targets”.
Derived from the AgustaWestland A129CBT Mangusta that has been in service with the Italian Army since 2002, the T129 incorporates a modified airframe, new engines, an uprated drive train, a new tail rotor, new displays, and enhanced weapons.