Pakistan has signed an agreement to acquire 30 T129 ATAK advanced attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopters from Turkey, promised by Turkey’s Justice and Development (AK) Party in its election manifesto.
Designed and developed by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and the Italian company AgustaWestland, the T129 ATAKs will be used by the Pakistan Army’s Aviation Corps division.
The attack helicopters were added to the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces in 2014 with the delivery of an initial batch of nine aircraft.
Pakistani Defense Production Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain announced the plan to acquire 30 attack helicopters, in addition to four naval vessels from Turkey last November during an interview with the Anadolu Agency.
A report by Daily Sabah stated: “ATAK helicopters, one of the most remarkable products of the national and original production model in the defence industry, have also paved the way for exports with its outstanding performance.”
“With the sales contract, the longstanding cooperation and bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkey in the defence field gained a new dimension.”
The value of the deal between the two countries is reported to be approximately $1.5bn.
Based on the AgustaWestland’s AW129 aircraft serving with the Italian Army, the TAI’s T129 ATAK helicopter can be used for ‘attack helicopter’ roles, such as anti-armour sorties, armed reconnaissance/patrol, seek-and-destroy, and close-air support for accompanying ground forces.