Turkish Aerospace Industries is currently producing 30 T-129 ATAK twin-engine attack helicopter gunships for Pakistan but have hit a snag in the process. In order to go further with the contract, The T-129 attack helicopter has US components made by Honeywell and so, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) would need export licenses from the US reports Defence News.

The T-129, based on the British-Italian Leonardo-Finmeccanica (formerly AugustaWestland) A-129 Mangusta. The T-129 is powered by two LHTEC T800-4A turbo-shaft engines. Each engine can produce 1,014 kilowatts of output power. LHTEC is a joint venture between the American firm Honeywell and the British company Rolls-Royce.

America and Turkey have been at odds over U.S. support for Kurdish militants fighting the Islamic State group in northern Syria, as well as Turkey’s refusal to follow U.S. sanctions on Iran, and Ankara’s decision to deploy the Russian-made S-400 air and anti-missile defence systems on Turkish soil. Most recently, Congress took another step toward banning the delivery of the F-35 stealth fighter jet to Turkey.

Turkey and Pakistan signed a deal on July 13 for 30 T-129 ATAK helicopter gunships. Pakistani officials say their own AH-1F Cobra gunships lack the capability to perform adequately over the higher altitudes of the Hindu Kush mountain range separating Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In 2016, Pakistani officials thoroughly tested the T-129 and endorsed the deal.

This is good news for India as the attack helicopter gunships could be used against Indian armed forces in the event of war between the two bitter arch enemies.

Our Bureau