Philippines Receives Initial Batch of Turkish-made ATAK Helicopters

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:12 AM, March 10, 2022
  • 2197
Philippines Receives Initial Batch of Turkish-made ATAK Helicopters
T129 ATAK helicopters

The Philippines has received the first batch of two Turkey-made T129 Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopters (ATAK)

The country had ordered six helicopters designed and developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The Philippines – which is buying the six choppers worth approximately $280 million (TL 4.1 billion) – is the first country abroad to use the ATAK.

“The PAF welcomes the arrival of two units of T129 ‘ATAK’ helicopters onboard the (Airbus) A-400M from Turkey at 30 minutes past midnight March 9, 2022, at Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga,” Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano was cited by Philippine News Agency (PNA) as saying in a message to reporters.

The two T129 helicopters are expected to be commissioned within one or two months at the most, Mariano added.

Philippines Receives Initial Batch of Turkish-made ATAK Helicopters
Turkish Aerospace Industries ATAK Helicopters: TAI Photo

The sale had been delayed due to the export license barrier but the process gained momentum after the U.S. greenlighted the export of the choppers, powered by an American engine, in May. The rotorcraft is powered by engines made by LHTEC, a joint venture of British Rolls Royce and U.S.-based Honeywell. Foreign companies are obligated to obtain export permits for U.S. military-grade commercial sales.

TAI’s engine manufacturing subsidiary, TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI), embarked on a project to develop a domestic engine for the helicopter, the turboshaft TEI-TS1400, which will also power the country's first indigenous T625 multirole helicopter named Gökbey. These new engines are expected to be used in the T129 helicopters in the inventory of Turkish security forces.

The T129 ATAK is a next-generation, tandem and two-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance.

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