Turkish attack helicopter enters Philippine Air Force's inventory

Baku, April 6, AZERTAC

The first overseas delivery of Turkiye's T129 ATAK, an advanced attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter, was made to the Philippine Air Force, according to Anadolu Agency.

With a ceremony on Wednesday in Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base located in the capital Manila, two ATAK helicopters and an Airbus C-295 tactical transport aircraft entered the air force's inventory.

Helicopters were delivered to the Philippines on March 3.

Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippine secretary of national defense, said at the ceremony that it is a "wonderful day" for the Philippine Air Force.

The Philippines is restructuring fleets, and ATAK helicopter will support the country's fight against terrorism, he said, adding.

"I am very happy that the dream of the Philippine Air Force has come true, but we still have a long way to go to fully equip our home."

Ismail Demir, the head of Turkey's Defense Industries Presidency (SSB), said with the defense industry cooperation memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the presidency and the Ministry of Defense of the Philippines, cooperation in this field has reached the interstate level.

The MoU was signed between the two countries in 2017 in Istanbul.

He noted: "We have created a framework to develop and strengthen defense industry cooperation on the basis of friendship and common interest."

He stressed that Turkish defense industry companies become global players with their proven systems and products.

The Turkish defense industry has exported armored vehicles, ammo, pistol and night vision binocular so far.

The two countries have signed an agreement for six ATAK helicopters in 2020.

With the successful completion of the acceptance and testing activities, the first two helicopters entered the Philippine Air Force inventory.

As part of the second package of ATAK helicopters, a draft price offer was given to the Philippines and negotiations were started.

Developed with national capabilities for meeting the attack helicopter needs of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), ATAK stands out as the most effective attack helicopter in its class.

The T129 ATAK is a next-generation, tandem and two-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance.

Since the first delivery of ATAK to the TAF in 2014, more than 70 units have been produced so far.

ATAK, which can fly for three hours and has a take-off weight of five tons, successfully performs tasks such as attack, precision engagement, armed reconnaissance, armed support, armed protection, destruction of air defense systems, and residential area combat.


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