Turkey delivers ATAK helicopter to Philippines

Turkey delivers ATAK helicopter to Philippines

Turkey delivers ATAK helicopter to Philippines

Turkey has delivered two ATAK helicopters, a twin-engine air vehicle developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), to the Philippines, the head of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) has announced, marking the first delivery to a foreign country.

“We are happy to witness a historical moment,” SSB head İsmail Demir said during the delivery ceremony in the Col Jesus Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.

An ATAK helicopter is an all-weather attack helicopter having a unit cost of roughly $50 million. The first flight testing of the helicopter’s prototype took place on Sept. 28, 2009.

“With the agreement signed with SSB and the Philippines Defense Ministry, the defense cooperation has reached a state-to-state level,” Demir said and offered to hold the Joint Defense Industries Work Group meeting in Manila.

Naming the Turkish defense companies TUSAŞ, Aselsan and Roketsan, Demir said, “Our companies are willing to cooperate with friendly nations in the field of technology, joint production and marketing.”

“Despite the heavy impact of the pandemic on world economies, the rising numbers of defense costs of the Asia-Pacific region remind us that supply of defense is still a priority of the Asian countries.”

Demir highlighted that SSB not only wants to do business with the region but also wants to establish a partnership in defense industries with friendly nations.

Turkey’s defense industry has grown fast over the past two decades in line with the government’s efforts aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on foreign countries in the defense field.

The total turnover of the local defense and aviation industry increased from $1.1 billion in 2002 to a record high of $10.9 billion in 2019.

The number of local defense projects carried out locally jumped from 66 20 years ago to 793 in 2021.

Turkey’s defense export revenues exceeded $3 billion in 2021, and this year they may be over $4 billion, Demir said in an interview with private broadcaster CNNTürk last month.