Philippines buys Turkish T129 helicopters with US-made engine

MANILA, ($1=50.38 Philippine Peso) – The Philippine Air Force has ordered the delivery of six T129 reconnaissance and strikes helicopters from Turkey, learned, citing the Defense Post. The first helicopter is scheduled to be delivered in December 2021, with a total delivery cost of $ 269 million, or $ 44 million apiece.

Iraq buys Bayraktar TB2 drones and AT12 attack helicopters
Photo credit: Defence Blog

Interestingly, the Philippines and Turkey were waiting for an informal agreement from the United States to start this deal, which was received in March 2019.

Especially since the Filipinos initially considered buying one or two attack helicopters from the United States for a cash budget of $ 269 million, but then Manila decided to buy six cheaper Turkish attack helicopters for the same money.

It is known that the Philippines plans to actively use the Turkish T129 to support its ground parts of the air during hostilities. The Turkish T129 will be the first specialized attack helicopter for the Philippine Armed Forces.

It is not known whether the T129 for the Philippines will differ from the base version in terms of equipment.

In the basic version, the Turkish T129 attack helicopter is equally adapted to operate in both hot climates and low temperatures. The laser rangefinder, night vision system, and emergency radar transmitter allow the T129 crew to perform tasks at night.

The T129 helicopter can carry a payload of up to 1,200 kilograms, which may include unguided missiles, anti-tank missiles, or short-range air-to-air missiles.

Pakistan may receive T129 with Ukrainian engines

Nearly three years ago, in 2018, Turkey and Pakistan signed an agreement in which Turkey is ready to sell 30 T129 Atak helicopters to Pakistanis for a total value of $ 1.5 billion.

Turkey has severe military production but no robust military development. The T129 Atak helicopter has a T800-4A engine, which is the exported version of the CTS800. These engines are manufacturing by a joint venture between the American company Honeywell and the British company Rolls-Royce.

The United States refuses to issue a Turkish helicopter export license to Turkey for Pakistan. The United States has the right to do so because, as mentioned above, the engine is not Turkish. The sanctions that Washington imposed on Turkey regarding the purchase of Russian air defense systems affect precisely this type of transaction.

Pakistan has decided to enter the situation in Turkey and has allowed a six-month delay in the delivery of helicopters.

As we reported on June 2 this year, the Ukrainian company Motor Sich will supply 14 engines for the Turkish attack helicopter ATAK-2, the press service of the company said.

“The Turkish company Turkish Aerospace Industries signed today (June 29) a contract with the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to supply 14 engines for the ATAK-2 multipurpose heavy combat helicopter,” the company said.

In April, it was reported that during the last visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Ankara, the Turkish authorities were offered about 50% of the shares of the strategic enterprise Motor Sich. It was assumed that the Ukrainian plant will produce engines for Turkish drones.


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