Istanbul (Daily Sabah) - As Turkeysigned a $3.5 billion contract with U.S. helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft for the coproduction of an initial batch of 109 utility helicopters, a Turkish company won a substantial deal under the same contract.
Aselsan, which specializes in military electronics and is Turkey's biggest defense firm, signed a $491.5 million deal with Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), a local contractor for the Sikorsky-led utility helicopter program.
Aselsan officials said that under the contract, the company will be tasked with critical parts, including a new glass cockpit, multifunction displays, a flight management system, a moving map system, an inertial navigation system, GPS, an identify friend-or-foe system, advanced radios and a self-protection system.
Turkey in 2011 selected Sikorsky as its partner company to lead the production of the country's nextgeneration utility helicopters. Sikorsky defeated Italian-British AgustaWestland by bidding its T-70, the Turkish version of its S-70 Black Hawk Iternational.
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, defense analysts said. The Pro ject's 'Firsts '
1. Helicopter supplies, usually procured by Sikorsky domestically, will be produced in Turkey under the helicopter license for the first time.
2. Gear and dynamic systems will be produced in Turkey for the first time.
3. Within the frame of this project, the engine of T-700 Black Hawk, made by General Electric, will be produced in Turkey and exported abroad.
4. For the first time, a Turkish company, ASELSAN, will provide a cockpit design for a foreign company, Sikorsky. These cockpits will then be marketed and sold together with helicopters to the international community.
5. There will be a 67 percent national Turkish industrial participation in the project.
6. Sikorsky made a commitment to use the capabilities of Turkish national industry for the first time with this project. The total commitment is $1.4 billion and will be completed in 30 years.