According to US defense publication reports, Pakistan has granted another six months extension to a helicopter deal with Turkey. Pakistan signed a $1.5 billion deal with Turkey to buy 30 Turkish-made T129 Atak helicopters. The delivery date has been delayed due to the refusal by the Pentagon to issue export licenses for engines and other parts made in the US.
“We have obtained a six-month extension from Pakistan,” Turkey’s top procurement official, Ismail Demir, told a US defense publication, Defense News.
In January last year, Pakistan gave the first, one-year, extension to the manufacturers, the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), for delivering the helicopters, but with the sale in jeopardy, the Turkish government tasked Tusas Engine Industries, TAI’s sister company, with developing an indigenous engine for the T129.
Pakistan chose Turkey’s T129 attack helicopters to replace its fleet of AH?1F Cobra gunships that were acquired in the 1980s.