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Business & Finance

$1.5bn Pakistan-Turkey defense deal comes to a standstill

  • The T-129 ATAK helicopter gunships were being produced by TAI under license from the Italian-British company AgustaWestland.
10 Mar, 2021

The multi-billion-dollar defense agreement between Pakistan and Turkey has come to a standstill due to the United States.

Back in 2018, Pakistan signed an agreement with Turkey to buy modern combat helicopters. Under the agreement, Pakistan was to purchase 30 modern T-129 attack helicopters despite US sanctions on Turkey.

However, now Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's press secretary in an interview with Bloomberg has said that the United States has blocked the sale of T-129 combat helicopters to Pakistan from Turkey.

The T-129 ATAK helicopter gunships were being produced by TAI under license from the Italian-British company AgustaWestland.

In July 2018, Turkey and Pakistan signed an agreement on the sale of 30 Turkish T-129 attack helicopters in what will be the biggest export deal of the Turkish defense industry. The deal encompasses the provision of logistics, spare parts, training, and ammunition for the helicopters, which were to be delivered gradually over five years.

However, relations between Turkey and the USA strained after Turkey decided to buy the Russian missile defense system SU-400, much to the criticism of the United States. In response to the Turkey-Russia defense pact, the United States imposed defense sanctions on its NATO ally Turkey.

Due to these restrictions, the supply of T-129 combat helicopters to Pakistan was delayed as Turkey was unable to supply T-129 combat helicopters to Pakistan without US export licenses.

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