Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Agence France-Presse)
ANKARA — Five international helicopter manufacturers will compete in a Turkish program for the acquisition of four utility helicopters for the country’s Coast Guard, with an option to buy two more.
Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), announced March 11 that five companies had obtained the requests for proposal, traditionally a sign to make an offer for the tender.
The potential bidders are Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) and Airbus Helicopters Deutschland (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland); NH Industries; AgustaWestland; Sikorsky; and Bell Helicopter Textron.
The contract involves four helicopters, spare parts, ground support, training, technical assistance/support and two optional helicopters and related goods and services. Bidders should also include industrial participation and offset terms in their bids, due June 16.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Feb. 21 that his government and US helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft had signed a long-dormant $3.5 billion contract to co-produce an initial batch of 109 utility helicopters. Penning the deal had been delayed since last May.
Sikorsky proposed the T-70, a Turkish version of its S-70 Black Hawk International., which is used by dozens of militaries, including Turkey’s.
With follow-on orders of the T-70, more than 600 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 special operations command each getting their share. ■