ÜMİT ENGİNSOY April 10, 2011
Turkey's top government and military authorities will meet Tuesday to select and announce the winner of a $4 billion contract for the co-production of 109 utility helicopters, a senior procurement official said Friday.
Turkey's top decision-making body for procurement, The Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will convene to choose between the United States’ Sikorsky Aircraft and Italy's AgustaWestland.
Sikorsky is offering its T-70, the Turkish version of its S-70 Black Hawk International, which is presently being used by the militaries of dozens of countries, including Turkey. AgustaWestland is competing with its TUHP 149, the Turkish version of its newly developed A-149.
"The event will have only one agenda item: the selection of Turkey's new utility helicopter type," the procurement official said.
The first batch will be for 109 utility helicopters, but with follow-on orders, more than 300 platforms are expected to be built with a price tag of over $10 billion, according to defense analysts.
The Turkish decision comes at the end of a final round of talks with the two competing companies.
"The two offers will be judged in accordance with their final prices and commercial benefits for the Turkish industry involved in the program," said the procurement official.
Sikorsky Aircraft and AgustaWestland have so far announced benefit packages worth billions of dollars each.
Several Turkish companies, most notably Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI, will take part in the joint production of the platforms.
In addition to Erdoğan, the Defense Industry Executive Committee's other members include Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül, Chief of General Staff General Isık Koşaner and Turkey's top procurement official, Murad Bayar.