April 30, 2010
Officials from a Turkish procurement agency are holding contract negotiations with Boeing for a helicopter deal worth up to $1.2 billion, officials said Friday.
The U.S. Congress had recently moved to allow 14 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to be sold to Turkey.
“We expect to sign a final contract later this year,” one procurement official said.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Pentagon’s body coordinating U.S. weapons sales, had notified Congress in December of the potential sale. Permission came in late December as no lawmaker objected to the sale within the legal waiting period of 15 days.
If the contract between Turkey and Boeing is signed in mid-2010, production would begin by the end of the year. Turkey would buy the 14 Chinooks through the United States’ Foreign Military Sales mechanism.
In addition to the helicopters, the Turkish military would purchase 32 T55-GA-714A turbine engines, 28 AN/ARC-201E single-channel ground and airborne radio systems, and 14 AN/APR-39A(V)1 radar-signal detecting sets, according to the DSCA report to Congress.
In its report, the agency also included spare parts and equipment, personnel training and “technical and logistics support services” as part of the sale, the cost of which it estimated at $1.2 billion.
The CH-47F Chinook is produced by Boeing’s U.S. plant in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.
Bolstering military capability
“The proposed sale will improve Turkey’s capability to meet current and future requirements for troop movement, medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, parachute drop, search and rescue, disaster relief, firefighting and heavy construction. Turkey will use these helicopters to strengthen its homeland defense, deter regional threats and improve humanitarian and disaster mobilization and response,” the DSCA said.
The Turkish Army will buy 10 of the 14 Chinooks; the remaining four are expected to go to the Special Forces Command. The 14 CH-47F Chinooks will be the first heavy-lift helicopters in the Turkish military’s inventory.
Developed in the late 1960s, Chinooks have been exported to Australia, Britain, Canada, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Japan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
The helicopters have been successfully operated in combat conditions in several wars and armed conflicts.