Enjoying close political and economic relations, Ankara and Moscow have lately held a number of talks on boosting defense cooperation and projects. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's latest visit hold promises the two countries might start working on some new defense cooperation projects.
Russia sees the possibility of launching joint helicopter production with Turkey, the head of a copter design and manufacturing company said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the sidelines of Monday's meeting between the two presidents, Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky said he visited Turkey last week to talk with potential buyers.
Last year Russia and Turkey signed an agreement for three Ka-32 firefighting copters, but according to Boginsky, the numbers fall short of Turkey's true needs. "I say that not because we sell them, but because of our previous experience with other countries," he said.
"Take the example of South Korea, where the territory is much smaller than that of Turkey. But there are about 50 such helicopters in operation there." He added that the three copters would show the capabilities of Russian equipment.
Boginskiy touted the Turkish market's potential and suggested exploring more areas of cooperation. "This [Ka-32] contract took place thanks to the support of the Russian export center, these machines are being delivered under the credit scheme and of course, we see the Turkish market as one of the most promising.
"We understand that in addition to supplying equipment, both sides need the support of organizations such as leasing companies, the Russian export center," he said. Boginsky added that such issues were discussed for two days "to lay the necessary groundwork." He said Russia pays great attention to the aviation industry and export support, and so Russian organizations are ready to help with credits to potential consumers.
As Turkey already has experience in joint helicopter production with Italy, the same can be done with Russia, said Boginsky. "We know the successful experience of our Turkish colleagues in producing combat helicopters with the help of colleagues from Italy. We see prospects in the civil sector too, and depending on our goals and objectives, we have different types of helicopters, so we're open to suggestions," he said.
Russia could also use components produced in Turkey, he said. Turkish aerospace firms make various components and Russia is ready to use them or buy end products, to certify them together with the Turkish side so that Russian-made copters with Turkish parts can be marketed to countries where Turkey has strong trade ties, Boginsky added.
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