At a meeting at the 10th Ambassadors' Conference held at the ASELSAN facilities, Defense Industries President Demir said that advanced models of Turkey's homegrown attack helicopter, ATAKs (Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopters), will be developed. Recalling that the defense and aerospace sector's turnover in 2017 was about $6.7 billion, Demir said this amount is expected to approach $8 billion in 2018, stressing that there is a continuous increase in exports and that four Turkish companies entered this year's list of top 100 defense companies in the world.
Elaborating on the products manufactured in this field, Demir said the T129 ATAK is very intensely and successfully used in operations as a helicopter that impresses internationally. "The helicopter we produced jointly with the Italians is one of the best performers among ATAK class helicopters in the world. Various users are amazed by the agility and the firing sensitivity of the helicopter tested even under the toughest conditions," Demir said. "Our first step was to export to Pakistan, and there are very attractive offers from various countries. In this sense, we think that the ATAK has a bright future ahead. We consider this ATAK as a business model." Noting that advanced models will follow after a few more steps, Demir said larger ATAK helicopters with a capacity to carry more loads and more weapons are now in the project phase.
Turkey recently sold Pakistan 30 ATAK helicopters, and the helicopters will be delivered gradually over five years. The deal with Pakistan is the biggest single export deal for Turkey's defense industry. The T129 ATAK helicopter is a new generation, tandem, two-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance.