Turkey’s $3.5 billion deal on Sikorsky ‘almost done’
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The S-70 Black Hawk helicopter is used by dozens of countries, including Turkey. Company photoTurkey’s procurement has come to the “edge of finalizing” a $3.5 billion contract with Sikorsky Aircraft for the coproduction of hundreds of utility helicopters, according to a statement by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).
SSM posted on its website that it had come to the final round of contract negotiations for the signing of a deal that involves an initial production of 109 utility helicopters.
Turkey in 2011 selected Sikorsky Aircraft as its partner company to lead production of the country’s next-generation utility helicopters. Sikorsky defeated Italian-British AgustaWestland with its T-70, the Turkish version of its S-70 Black Hawk International.
A contract has been pending since then and rumors from industry sources suggested major problems during contract negotiations. The first batch of the coproduction program involved 109 platforms.
“We have come a long way to put the final seal on the deal. We faced tough moments during talks but we have now reached a point that satisfies both parties,” a Turkish official familiar with the program said.
The S-70 Black Hawk International is used by the militaries of dozens of countries, including Turkey. AgustaWestland was competing with its TUHP 149, the Turkish version of its newly developed A-149.
The first batch will be for 109 utility helicopters, but with follow-on orders more than 600 platforms could be built at a cost of more than $20 billion, according to defense analysts.
Sikorsky and AgustaWestland had announced benefit packages worth billions of dollars each. Several Turkish companies, most notably Turkish Aerospace Industries, will take part in the joint production.
Most of the helicopters in the first batch will go to the military, with the Gendarmerie receiving the largest portion, and the army, navy, air force and the special forces command all receiving their shares. The remaining choppers will go to the Security Directorate, meaning the police forces, and to the Firefighting Department. k HDN