WASHINGTON, (BM) – The purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system from Turkey was enthusiastically received by the population of the Balkan country, under the emotional slogan of the anti-American campaign “no one can tell us what to buy.“ The statements of the Turkish authorities in recent months are similar.
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But Ankara’s problem with the purchase of the S-400 has another side – Turkey is on the verge of failing several already concluded deals with its customers, precisely because of the deterioration of Turkish-American relations.
Pakistan is a recent example of this. 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. However, this will not happen, at least for now. The delay in production by Turkey is the slightest problem against the background of “brakes” by the United States.
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 uncertainty is precisely in this fact. 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.
Turkey is at a crossroads, and the industry is now fully aware of the power of economic sanctions directly on itself. “There are other components for which Americans may refuse to issue export licenses,” a senior official in the Turkish military industry was quoted as saying by Defense News. “We have the impression that the T129 deal will not pass without a political donation from Washington.”
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The situation for Ankara is deteriorating even more after, in addition to lawmakers in Washington, they withdrew all requests for the export of Turkish weapons with American components, as did private companies.
Pakistan has decided to enter the situation in Turkey and has allowed a six-month delay in the delivery of helicopters. But this is not a solution to a problem but a prolongation of the agony. Because now Ankara will have to “beg” Washington for a “political donation.”
There is light in the tunnel, and it came a few hours ago when the United States issued an export license to Turkey, but for a deal with the Philippines. But Washington’s action is an “ironic smile” as they deal with the Philippines is for only six helicopters of the same model and just over $ 250 million. Doesn’t the United States show Turkey’s first “yellow card”? Ankara should know very well that after a second yellow card, a red card follows.
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