Pakistan acquires Turkish combat helicopters

A year after signing a first historic contract by ordering 4 Ada-class corvettes from Turkey, Pakistan is doing it again and orders 30 new T-129 ATAK helicopters to its Turkish manufacturer TAI, for an amount estimated at $1,5 billion, the largest export contract for the Turkish defense industry signed so far.

The T-129 ATAK is a local version of the A-129 Mangusta light attack helicopter from the Italian Agusta Westland. The helicopter experienced its baptism of fire during the Turkish intervention in northern Syria, and seems, according to officials, to have been satisfactory. 

This new contract represents an event for the Turkish Defense industry, its amount being equal to one year of exports from this country. In addition, it shows the axis followed by Turkey in the field, focusing on the countries of the Middle East and the Caucasus, in order to benefit from Sunni solidarity while strengthening its strategic role in the region, in accordance with the ambitions of President Erdogan. Thus, beyond Pakistan, Turkish industries have signed defense partnerships and joint ventures with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

For Pakistan, it is a question of diversifying its sources of equipment, currently supported mainly by China following tensions with the United States or France. It is also an opportunity to find partners for its own Defense equipment, such as the MFI-17 Super MushShak training aircraft, of which Turkey acquired 52 examples when signing the order for the 4 Ada corvettes.

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