Turkey and Taiwan Buy Attack Helicopters

by: Matthew Potter
November 10, 2010

Category: Agusta Westland, Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Countries, Department of Defense, Events, Military Aviation, production program, Services, Taiwan, Turkey, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army | RSS 2.0

Yesterday both Turkey and Taiwan announced new buys of attack helicopters. These type of aircraft have demonstrated their capabilities in Iraq and Afghanistan by providing precision fire support for ground troops as well as engaging high value targets from safe, standoff distances. The U.S., United Kingdom and the Netherlands have all deployed their Boeing (BA) AH-64 Apache aircraft to Afghanistan for example.

Turkey increased their planned purchase of the Augusta Westland (AW) T129 helicopter by nine with a further order worth about $200 million. This will bring the total number of aircraft purchased to sixty. The aircraft will be assembled at the Turkish Aerospace Industries plant in Turkey. The aircraft is still being designed and initial delivery is expected in 2012.

Taiwan went with its U.S. allies’ product the AH-64 by placing an order for at least thirty of the D model. These are part of an arms sale agreement from 2008. The contract also pay for two trainers. The AH-64D Longbow has a millimeter radar and carries Hellfire anti-tank missiles and a 30 mm cannon. It will also be one of the primary platforms for the new Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) in development by the U.S. Army for its own use and the Air Force’s. The advanced procurement part of this contract is worth a little over $140 million.

The U.S. especially has invested several billion dollars since 2001 in improving and expanding their rotary wing fleet. This includes the UH-60M, CH-47F and the AH-64 Block IIID which just entered production. Other nations have also done this with Boeing, Sikorsky, Eurocopter and Augusta Westland benefiting. The purchase of new helicopters for use by the Iraqi and Afghan governments has also led to orders for the Kazakh based manufacturer of the Mi-17 Hip heavily used by the Russian military and former Soviet Union aligned countries.

Photo from jensen_chua flickr photostream.

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