Turkish defence company Aselsan has secured a USD24.9 million contract from an overseas customer for the integration of its Aselpod electro-optical targeting pods into aerial platforms, according to a statement published by the Turkish Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on 26 May.
The announcement was followed two days later by a report by Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah identifying Pakistan as the customer, and pointing out that this is the second order for the system placed by the South Asian country.
“Aselsan realised the first Aselpod exports last June to Pakistan, which has re-ordered a year later. The said system will be used on the JF-17 aircraft that Pakistan has jointly developed with China,” the paper said in an article that was republished by Turkey’s Directorate General of Press Information.
In its 2015-2016 yearbook Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production had listed a USD24.9 million purchase of eight Aselpod targeting pods for the country’s JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft.
According to Jane’s World Air Forces , the Pakistan Air Force currently operates an estimated 86 JF-17s. The latest deal between Pakistan and Turkey is yet another indication of the growing defence industrial ties between the two countries.
Earlier this month Turkey signed a contract with the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra for the procurement of 52 MFI-17 Super Mushshak primary trainers.
At the same time Pakistan’s Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Turkish defence engineering firm Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret (STM) for the local construction of four Ada (MILGEM)-class corvettes for the Pakistan Navy.
Both deals were signed on 10 May at the 2017 IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul in a ceremony presided over by Turkish defence minister Fikri Isik and Pakistan’s minister for defence production, Tanvir Hussain.