Turkey, Pakistan Close to Finalizing Sale of 30 T-129 Attack Helicopters

Having bought the rights to the Agusta A-129 Mangusta light attack helicopter, Turkey developed its own uprated version, designated T-129 ATAK, which it has been trying to export, notably to Pakistan and Kazakhstan. (TAI photo)

ANKARA --- The deal to export 30 ATAK helicopters is expected to be finalized soon and is considered a boost for the morale of the domestic defense industry and a promising project for Turkish-Pakistani military ties

Turkey and Pakistan are on the verge of inking a deal for the purchase of T129 Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopters (ATAK). According to defense sources in Ankara, who spoke to Daily Sabah on the condition of anonymity, the Turkish and Pakistani governments are close to closing the ATAK helicopter deal in the upcoming months, if not weeks. The sources underlined that the ATAK helicopters were tested and the Pakistani side has expressed their contentment with the helicopters in line with their needs and requirements.

In fact, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who visited Turkey last year in October, examined the T129 ATAK helicopter during a test flight.

Calling it a "very impressive helicopter," Abbasi said at the time that contract talks were continuing at full speed, expressing Pakistan's desire to acquire the helicopter and add it to the Pakistan Army forces as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, three ATAK helicopters have recently been sent to Pakistan to partake in a celebratory parade. The helicopters will take off on the National Day. On the other hand, diplomatic sources said that the helicopters were sent to Pakistan on the occasion of the country's National Day as a sign of solidarity with the brotherly people of Pakistan.

Recent reports in the Turkish media contended that the deal between Turkey and Pakistan for the purchase of the helicopters will be around $1.5 billion. However, there has not been a confirmation either from the defense or diplomatic sources in this regard. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Daily Sabah website.

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