Azerbaijan to buy Turkish military helicopters
Azerbaijan is one of the countries that will buy Turkey’s T129 military attack helicopters.
Pakistan, Jordan and Malaysia have also shown interest in purchasing the helicopters, according to Turkish newspaper Zaman.
The T129 is better quality than Russia’s K-50 and will meet NATO standards, Zaman said. It will be cheaper than the US Apache.
The T129, an all-weather day and night attack helicopter, is being developed by Italy’s AgustaWestland together with Turkey’s Aselsan and TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries).
The first prototype of the T129 crashed on the afternoon of 19 March during a test flight in Italy, leaving its Italian test pilot and test engineer needing hospital treatment for minor injuries.
The $3 billion project is based on the A129 Mangusta. The deal was signed in 2008, and the first prototype, P1, made its first flight in September 2009. Turkey has ordered 50 production T129s for delivery from 2013 and has options on another 41.
AgustaWestland will make two T129 prototypes in Italy, after which manufacture will shift to its Turkish partner TAI. The aircraft will be equipped with Turkish-made systems including electronics, a forward-looking infrared sensor, cockpit avionics and mission computing from Aselsan, and weapon systems from Roketsan.
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