Aselsan will provide critical components for Turkey's new helicopter, based on the Black Hawk International (Sikorsky)
ANKARA — As Turkey finally penned a $3.5 billion contract with US helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft for the co-production of an initial batch of 109 utility helicopters, a Turkish company has won a substantial deal under the same contract.
Military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense firm, has signed a US $491.5 million deal with Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), prime local contractor for the Sikorsky-led utility helicopter program, the company has announced.
Aselsan officials said that under the contract, the company will be tasked with critical work including a new glass cockpit, multifunction displays, flight management system, moving map system, inertial navigation system, GPS, identify friend-or-foe system, advanced radios and a self-protection system.
Turkey signed the utility deal with Sikorsky on Feb. 21. Aselsan officials said the subcontract with TAI was signed shortly after that deal.
Turkey in 2011 selected Sikorsky as its partner company to lead production of the country’s next-generation utility helicopters. Sikorsky defeated Italian-British AgustaWestland by bidding its T-70, the Turkish version of its S-70 Black Hawk International.
The S-70 Black Hawk International is used by dozens of militaries, including Turkey. AgustaWestland was competing with its TUHP 149, the Turkish version of its newly developed A-149.
The first batch will be for 109 utility helicopters, but with follow-on orders, more than 600 platforms could be built at a cost of more than $20 billion, defense analysts said.
Most helicopters in the first batch will go to the military, with the Gendarmerie receiving the largest portion, and the Army, Navy, Air Force and the special forces command each getting their share. The remaining machines will go to the Security Directorate, meaning the police forces, and to the Firefighting Department. ■