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Pakistan and Turkey Sign a Contract for the Procurement of T129 “Atak” Helicopters

Pakistan to procure 30 T129 “Atak” Helicopters from Turkey

The contract regarding the sale of T129 “Atak” Helicopters was signed recently between Turkey and Pakistan. For nearly two years the two countries have been working on ways of funding Pakistan’s procurement of the T129 “Atak” Helicopters.

The award of the contract for the sale of 30 T129 “Atak” Helicopters to Pakistan was officially declared by within the scope of the Justice and Development Party’s election declaration of 2018 prior to the Presidency and General Elections that will be held on 24 June 2018.

TAI held an effortful test campaign in Pakistan that lasted for 15 days in 2016.  Throughout the test campaign, Pakistani pilots pushed the limits of the T129 “Atak” helicopter under harsh conditions, both night and day in the Pana Aquil – Chor and Quetta regions which are considered to be the hottest and highest region of Pakistan. With the superior performance it demonstrated with the maximum take – off weight (5000 kg) and with temperatures at 23 degrees Celsius at an altitude of 14,000 ft. the T129 “Atak” Helicopter received full marks from the Pakistani pilots and authorities.

Şahid Hakan Abbasi, the Prime Minister of Pakistan visited Turkey in October 2017 for the 9th Summit of the D-8 Economic Cooperation Organization and scrutinized the T129 “Atak” Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter and attended a test flight.  Following the test flight, the Prime Minister commented on the helicopter and the flight, “As a pilot, I must say that in my opinion, this helicopter is the best and most effective attack helicopter in the world. The Pakistani Armed Forces have been testing this helicopter in depth and appreciate it in terms of its technical features and selected it. Currently our contract negotiations are in full speed and everything is running on track. We plan to procure this helicopter as soon as possible and include it to the inventory of the Pakistani Armed Forces”.

On March 23, 2018, three T129 “Atak” Helicopters in the inventory of the Turkish Land Forces Command conducted a demonstration flight as part of the events carried out for the Independence Day of Pakistan and enhanced the expectations for the award of the contract.

With this contract signed between Pakistan and Turkey, the T129 “Atak” Helicopter, developed and manufactured by TAI, will be exported to a foreign country for the first time. The official signing of the contract is expected to take place soon at a ceremony to be held with the participation of the Presidents of both countries.

35 “Atak” Helicopters in Total Delivered to Turkish Land Forces as of the End of May

Within the scope of the program where the procurement of a total of 50 helicopters in Phase-1 and Phase-2 configurations (29 helicopters in Phase-1 configuration and 21 helicopters in Phase-2 configuration) is planned, the contract was signed between TAI and the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries in 2007 for fulfilling the requirements of the Land Forces Command, a total of 35 T129 “Atak” Helicopters consisted of 9 Early Delivery Helicopters (the delivery was completed in December 2015) and 26 helicopters in Phase-1 configuration were delivered to the Land Forces Command as of the end of May. Following the completion of the delivery of the Phase-1 package, the delivery of the Phase-2 configuration which is composed of 21 helicopters is planned to be launched as of July 2018.

The first 3 helicopters as part of the program containing the delivery of 18 T129 “Atak” Helicopters for the needs of the Gendarmerie General Command  were delivered on April 19 at a ceremony held with the participation of the Minister of Internal Affairs Süleyman Soylu and the Undersecretary for Defense Industries Prof. İsmail Demir.

Apart from the Land Forces Command and Gendarmerie General Command, the National Police will be procuring 9 T129 “Atak” Helicopters in the upcoming period.