Procurement of military helicopter detection system waiting for seven years in Turkey
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARATurkey has been in the procurement process for an obstacle-detection and warning system for military helicopters since 2010, but the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries has not been able to finalize the tender yet.
The news of the seven-year delay comes after the deadly crash of an AS532 Cougar helicopter shortly after taking off from a base in the region of Şenoba, with a military statement saying initial information indicated that the helicopter hit a high-voltage transmission line.
The defense undersecretary’s website states that the long-running procurement process, which aims to integrate the obstacle-detection system for 172 military helicopters, is currently in the “contract signature phase.”
Since 1993, nearly 50 soldiers have lost their lives in Turkey in 10 separate accidents of military helicopters striking power lines.
The crash late on May 31, in which 13 soldiers were killed, reportedly occurred three minutes after take-off in the southeastern province of Şırnak.
Six of these helicopters crashing since 1993 due to power lines were Sikorskys, two of them were Cougars and one was a police helicopter.
Power lines, which are very difficult to detect through the air, are known as being among the most hazardous passive threats for helicopters in flight.