September 16, 2013 SALIM BOKHARI - ANKARA
Nawaz to witness demo of T-129 Attack Helicopters
Pakistan and Turkey are expected to expand their cooperation in defence production and Prime Nawaz Sharif will discuss the possibility of joint production of fighter helicopters with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan.
Soon after his arrival in Ankara on a three-day official visit to Turkey, Premier Nawaz would undertake a visit to Turkish Aerospace Industries to witness demonstration of T-129 Advance Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopters.
If an understanding is reached, an MoU would be signed and later a high-ranking team of Pakistan Air Force comprising experts from Kamra Re-build Factory would undertake a visit to Ankara to look into the technical details involved in joint production of these helicopters.
Pakistan and Turkey are already cooperating in different fields of defence production and training of each others’ military personnel. But, Pakistan desperately needs such helicopters to enhance its capability to carry out operations in Fata region to target terrorist hideouts.
T-129 is the result of the integration of nationally developed avionics and weapon systems by Turkey on to the combat proven Agusta Westland A-129 airframe, with upgraded engines, transmission and rotor blades. This helicopter is designed to meet the demanding requirements of armed forces. Optimised for “hot & high” environments and having considerable fire-power, T-129 is the most efficient Attack Helicopter in its class.
T-129 in fact has two versions. T-129A is the “combat support” version capable of carrying 500 ea 20mm gun rounds and up to 76 guided or unguided 2.75” rockets. T-129B is the “multi-role” version equipped with the leading edge electronic warfare systems and capable to carry a payload of 8 anti-tank missiles, 12 guided 2.75” rockets, 2 air-to-air missiles and 500 rounds, simultaneously.