ANKARA — Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Sikorsky Aircraft Company have signed a "cooperation agreement" aimed at enhancing business between the two companies in the next 10 years.
The contract was signed in Ankara between TAI's CEO, Temel Kotil, and Sikorsky's president, Dan Schultz.
In a written statement TAI said Feb. 28 that the agreement involves the production of components for various helicopter platforms. Under the deal, TAI said $270 million worth of components would be produced in the next 10 years.
"The cooperation agreement brings a new dimension into the existing business cooperation between TAI and Sikorsky that has already gained pace after the deal on the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program," TAI said.
The $3.5 billion utility helicopter contract between the Turkish government and Sikorsky took effect in June. TAI is the prime Turkish contractor of the program.
In 2011 Turkey selected Sikorsky for the utility program and signed a preliminary contract in 2014 but the Turkish and U.S. sides had bargained over U.S. export licenses for the planned utility helicopter. The T-70 Black Hawk, the Turkish version of the S-70 Black Hawk International, will come in two different configurations.
Under the 10-year utility program the T-70s will be delivered to six different users: The Land Forces, Air Force, Gendarmerie Command, Special Forces Command, Security General Directorate and Forestry Department.
The T-70 contract involves the coproduction in Turkey of an initial batch of 109 T-70 helicopters. But SSM, the Turkish defense procurement agency, says the total production figure could reach 300 eventually "in view of Turkey's future helicopter requirements."
Under the program, for every helicopter to be produced in Turkey, another will be exported. That puts the final production figure at 600 platforms.
Turkey's procurement office expects that the Turkish industry will get 67 percent work share and earn $1.4 billion over a period of 30 years.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.