Turkey has signed a contract for supply of Ukrainian engines for Turkish ATAK-II attack helicopters. The signing of the contract was reportedly announced by the General Manager of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil, who called Ukraine a”fraternal country”.
ATAK-II is the same class helicopter as U.S.-made Boeing AH-64 Apache and Russia’s Mi-28NM Night Hunter.
It will have a maximum take-off weight of 10 tons. It should be equipped with a 30-mm cannon, missile armament from the latest T129 versions and modern avionics. The helicopter is scheduled to perform its first flight in 2024.
The choice in favor of Ukrainian aircraft manufacturers was explained by the lack of an alternative for Turkey, because cooperation with Western companies can stop at any time due to the next geopolitical challenges.
In 2019, Turkey was forced to suspend sales of T129 ATAK helicopters to Pakistan due to a lack of engines. The problems was caused by the refusal of the United States to issue a Turkish company an export license for the supply of CTS800 engines. The contract with Pakistan supposed the acquisition of 30 ATAK helicopters worth $ 1.5 billion.
Ankara faced similar problems with its future indigenous Altay tank.
Turkey had hoped to power the Altay with the German MTU engine and RENK transmission, but talks with German manufacturers in recent years failed due to a federal arms embargo on Turkey. Germany is one of a number of European governments that have limited exports to Turkey over its involvement in the Syrian civil war.
In March 2021, Turkish armored vehicle-maker BMC has reached an agreement with two South Korean companies for work on the power pack of the Altay tank.
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