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Manufacturing T 129S Chopper parts: Pakistan seeks $1.5b credit line from Turkey

ISLAMABAD: A credit line of $1.5 billion from the Turkish government for manufacturing parts of T129 Turkish attack helicopters in Pakistan was a key attraction for Pakistani negotiators in recent days in sealing the crucial deal.

Pakistan has requested the financial arrangement from Turkey for manufacturing spare parts of the T129s choppers and the Turkish government is working to allocate $1.5 billion in credit , sources said.

The Pakistan Army has selected the T129 attack helicopters to replace its aging AH-1F/S Cobra attack helicopters and to complement the Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper. Besides exploring the credit to back the deal, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has also offered Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) parts manufacturing work for the T129 choppers.

According to the sources, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during his recent visit to Turkey , where he participated in the D-8 conference, interacted with senior TAI officials and pushed the process to finalize the deal, the sources said.

According to the sources, negotiations with the Turkish authorities have entered the final phase. In 2016, the Pakistan Army evaluated the T129 and the Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation Z-10 to complement the Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper.

Pakistan was overwhelmed by the T129’s hot-and-high performance and ferry range. Besides integrating PAC into the T129 supply channel (for spare parts), the programme could also lead to bilateral collaboration in avionics, optronics and munitions development.

According to the sources, if the deal materializes, the Pakistan Army, the Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Air Force would use the helicopters to meet its growing needs. On the other hand, Pakistan has a signed a deal to sell its Super Mushak trainer aircraft to Turkey.

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