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Pakistan Army's T-129 ATAK Helicopter Deal | Updates & Discussions.

araz

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I some times just sit quietly reading all the “ambitious” project goals that people celebrate. The issue is that most laymen are fimiliar with the development and release cycle of civil tech gadgets like cellphones, since the development to release cycle is usual in months, they then start inferring aero space timelines from it.
The bitter truth is, as I had seen in aerospace software and systems I worked on, the development cycles are slow and take their time to complete even if you are starting from a certified and matured baseline (i.e not from scratch). Even those timelines we always estimated in years before giving something to the OEM, and the OEM itself (like bombardier, agusta etc) would take their own time via flight tests to fully certify. There was a control surface stabilizers’ control unit SW that I was leading for SW development, and just the SW changes we had to complete before certifying with 10-15 team members was turning into 1-1.5 years - and mind you the SW and Sys dev was ongoing from another certified baseline for a couple of years before I came to the team. The Mechanical team was itself in a mess trying to solve a certain problem identified in the design during flight test (a certain failure mode was dormant but got detected in some conditions) - Long story short with a change in mechanical design would require new control SW development and testing again! And we never use cutting edge technology in these products, we use old time tested and mature methodologies to build these systems and they take their very sweet time to meet safety critical requirements.
Thank you for a very valuable post. It makes others realize how difficult the job actually is and why even minor changes take years to complete and verify. No wonder JFT took 4 years for Block 3 to get clearance before building a prototype.
A
Hi at the end can anybody post something about ATAK129 instead of discussing ucav though there should be a dedicated thread for discussing UCAV
thank you
The bottom line is T129 is in dire straits for the next 5-6 years till the Turks get a new engine certified to use on the project and then PAA test it in Pakistan again. Add 3 more years to get inducted and you are looking at 2028-2030 if at all.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Thank you for a very valuable post. It makes others realize how difficult the job actually is and why even minor changes take years to complete and verify. No wonder JFT took 4 years for Block 3 to get clearance before building a prototype.
A

The bottom line is T129 is in dire straits for the next 5-6 years till the Turks get a new engine certified to use on the project and then PAA test it in Pakistan again. Add 3 more years to get inducted and you are looking at 2028-2030 if at all.
I don't think the Turks will add their engine to the T129.

It seems they're actually moving harder on the indigenous T629 and T625 project, which is similar to India's Dhruv/LCH.

Yes, the induction timeline of the T625 and T629 is likely closer to 2030 (i.e., development, testing, setting-up production, etc).

However, unlike the T129, the Turks can (and probably will) offer transfer-of-technology and serious co-production opportunities to Pakistan if it signs onto the T629 and T625 combination.

I'd maybe flip the equation with the Turks.

This time, we don't ask for credit or loans, but we foot cash. However, in return, we get a 50% offset that sets up the helicopter industry in Pakistan from scratch.

If the armed forces commit to orders (for example 100+ attack helicopters and 150+ utility helicopters), we can invite the private sector of ours to foot the other 50% of the industry investment.
 

RadarGudumluMuhimmat

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MME, years have passed, please use your conscience and stop disgracing us. Turkey continues T129 also rapidly increasing deliveries. So you must give it continuous to say that this is a problem between the United States and Turkey.
 

eagleeye

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MME, years have passed, please use your conscience and stop disgracing us. Turkey continues T129 also rapidly increasing deliveries. So you must give it continuous to say that this is a problem between the United States and Turkey.
In addition, Tai is preparing for serial production of the skorsky T70 with Turkish avionics. tei produces the T700-TEI701D turbo shaft engine under Lisence and Alp Aviation the transmission. Tei is still producing 4 Engines per week. The americans do not want a competitor in the export of helicopters

 

khanasifm

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Let’s see if Interest in other buyer are also turned down ??

I think 🇦🇪 and another cou try had also shown interest in Turkish heli
Good at least it happened before ans not after sale completed
 

Constantin84

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I don't think the Turks will add their engine to the T129.

It seems they're actually moving harder on the indigenous T629 and T625 project, which is similar to India's Dhruv/LCH.

Yes, the induction timeline of the T625 and T629 is likely closer to 2030 (i.e., development, testing, setting-up production, etc).

However, unlike the T129, the Turks can (and probably will) offer transfer-of-technology and serious co-production opportunities to Pakistan if it signs onto the T629 and T625 combination.

I'd maybe flip the equation with the Turks.

This time, we don't ask for credit or loans, but we foot cash. However, in return, we get a 50% offset that sets up the helicopter industry in Pakistan from scratch.

If the armed forces commit to orders (for example 100+ attack helicopters and 150+ utility helicopters), we can invite the private sector of ours to foot the other 50% of the industry investment.
Do you have an estimate of the Pakistani Armed Forces short to medium helicopter needs, split by all 3 branches (Navy,AF, Army...transport, attack, maritime, training, etc) ?
 

khanasifm

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I don't think the Turks will add their engine to the T129.

It seems they're actually moving harder on the indigenous T629 and T625 project, which is similar to India's Dhruv/LCH.

Yes, the induction timeline of the T625 and T629 is likely closer to 2030 (i.e., development, testing, setting-up production, etc).

However, unlike the T129, the Turks can (and probably will) offer transfer-of-technology and serious co-production opportunities to Pakistan if it signs onto the T629 and T625 combination.

I'd maybe flip the equation with the Turks.

This time, we don't ask for credit or loans, but we foot cash. However, in return, we get a 50% offset that sets up the helicopter industry in Pakistan from scratch.

If the armed forces commit to orders (for example 100+ attack helicopters and 150+ utility helicopters), we can invite the private sector of ours to foot the other 50% of the industry investment.

paa Army aviation is headed by a major Gen that gives you an idea of how big is aviation arm vs other arms ;)

Pumas mi171 and bell 412 put together are no more than 100 /120 or so

rest of fleet is smaller types so this order of 100 attack and 150 transport need $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$&$$$$$$$$ country Cannot balanced budget and borrow every year cannot wish for such Luxury ;)
 

spectregunship

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paa Army aviation is headed by a major Gen that gives you an idea of how big is aviation arm vs other arms ;)

Pumas mi171 and bell 412 put together are no more than 100 /120 or so

rest of fleet is smaller types so this order of 100 attack and 150 transport need $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$&$$$$$$$$ country Cannot balanced budget and borrow every year cannot wish for such Luxury ;)
Not that the expansion isnt doable. I'd say we are not planning procurement and force development well. Generally taking things for granted. It hasnt happened before. G3 replacement program shelved, unnecessary delay in VT4 induction and list is on...PAA's procurement / modernization plans are part of the same issues plaguing us right now..
 

Reichmarshal

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just the mi 17 component of the PAA is around 80.
40 bell 412 were delivered.
pumas are around 45
cobras make around 40+
fennec/ecureuil around 25
a sqd of lamas
around 5 aw139 and 4 mi35
then theirs the jet ranger and Alouette around 30

not to forget the fixed-wing component of mushshak, Beechcraft, caravans,y12, citation, gulf stream etc etc..
and now the new addition of ucav.
All in all a big force.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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paa Army aviation is headed by a major Gen that gives you an idea of how big is aviation arm vs other arms ;)

Pumas mi171 and bell 412 put together are no more than 100 /120 or so

rest of fleet is smaller types so this order of 100 attack and 150 transport need $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$&$$$$$$$$ country Cannot balanced budget and borrow every year cannot wish for such Luxury ;)
That's the case if you look at in terms of, 'how much can I import?'

If you're always going to import, then (due to the high cost of foreign currency and supplier prices) you're always going to say "cannot wish for such luxury." When attack helicopters cost $50 m each and 178-odd tanks cost $878 m with nothing coming back to our economy, then yes, everything will look like a luxury.

On the other hand, when we invest in the local industry and work to manufacture a design locally, the entire equation changes. Now, the goal is trying to achieve economies of scale to justify the overhead, and for that, you'll need to boost the numbers of your helicopters.

Sounds expensive? Well, it is from a fiscal standpoint, but when you're manufacturing at home, you're actually spending money into your businesses, your labour pool, and so on. So, defence basically serves as a type of economic stimulus instead of a drain.

So, if you breakout the $50 m; $15 m goes to the local economy to sustain production, $15 m goes to the local economy for maintenance and parts production, and remaining $20 m goes overseas for critical inputs like engines and avionics. If you localize more of the engine and avionics area (e.g., co-fund IP creation with Turkey), then maybe only $10 m goes overseas.

Finally, you can break orders out across 10, 15 or even 20 years, so acquiring 100 attack and 150 transport helicopters across that timeline isn't as big of an issue.
 
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CriticalThought

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That's the case if you look at in terms of, 'how much can I import?'

If you're always going to import, then (due to the high cost of foreign currency and supplier prices) you're always going to say "cannot wish for such luxury." When attack helicopters cost $50 m each and 178-odd tanks cost $878 m with nothing coming back to our economy, then yes, everything will look like a luxury.

On the other hand, when we invest in the local industry and work to manufacture a design locally, the entire equation changes. Now, the goal is trying to achieve economies of scale to justify the overhead, and for that, you'll need to boost the numbers of your helicopters.

Sounds expensive? Well, it is from a fiscal standpoint, but when you're manufacturing at home, you're actually spending money into your businesses, your labour pool, and so on. So, defence basically serves as a type of economic stimulus instead of a drain.

So, if you breakout the $50 m; $15 m goes to the local economy to sustain production, $15 m goes to the local economy for maintenance and parts production, and remaining $20 m goes overseas for critical inputs like engines and avionics. If you localize more of the engine and avionics area (e.g., co-fund IP creation with Turkey), then maybe only $10 m goes overseas.

Finally, you can break orders out across 10, 15 or even 20 years, so acquiring 100 attack and 150 transport helicopters across that timeline isn't as big of an issue.
The real benefit comes when you also start exporting and bringing in foreign exchange.
 

HAIDER

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just the mi 17 component of the PAA is around 80.
40 bell 412 were delivered.
pumas are around 45
cobras make around 40+
fennec/ecureuil around 25
a sqd of lamas
around 5 aw139 and 4 mi35
then theirs the jet ranger and Alouette around 30

not to forget the fixed-wing component of mushshak, Beechcraft, caravans,y12, citation, gulf stream etc etc..
and now the new addition of ucav.
All in all a big force.
In all these equipment, Pakistan still need frontline attack helicopter. Majority of above mention are transport or scouts. Plus, majority Cobras grounded due to parts shortage.
 

T90TankGuy

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WASHINGTON: The United States has prevented Turkey from supplying 30 locally-made attack helicopters to Pakistan, diplomatic sources in Washington told Dawn.

According to Bloomberg News, Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters on Monday that “the US has blocked Turkey’s helicopter sale to Pakistan, which will likely lead to Islamabad buying it from China.”

The ATAK T-129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform and is equipped with American engines.

The US is holding up export clearance for the LHTEC engine.

The blockade could “cause more harm” to US interests, Mr Kalin added.

Turkey and Pakistan signed a $1.5 billion deal for the Turkish-made helicopter gunships in July 2018. But the delivery date was pushed back after the Pentagon refused to issue the Turkish company an export license for the engines.

The Turkish official mentioned the US blockade while briefing journalists on the impact of US sanctions on Turkey, triggered by Ankara’s decision to buy S-400 missiles from Russia.

He said Turkey was forced to buy Russian missiles because Washington had refused to supply Patriot air defence missiles systems to Ankara on favorable terms. The sanctions are designed to deter any country from signing military deals with Russia and restrict US loans and credits to a defaulter.

Developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in partnership with a European firm, Agusta-Westland, the ATAK T-129 helicopter is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments in both day and night conditions.

The United States announced the first blockade in July 2019, days before a meeting between the former US president, Donald Trump, and Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington.

In January 2020, the head of Turkey’s Defence Industries (SSB) said that Ankara and Islamabad had extended the delivery deal by another year to ensure a smooth delivery. The agreement gives Pakistan the option to buy the Chinese Z-10 helicopters should the Turkish deal not materialize.

Reports in the Turkish media said that the Turkish-built T-129 ATAK helicopter was still on the Pakistan Army shopping list.

In August 2020, Turkey hired a Washington law firm to lobby with the US administration and Congress for securing an export license which will help complete its biggest ever defence deal with Pakistan.

The US firm Greenberg Traurig and its subcontractor were paid a monthly retainer of $25,000 to lobby for the deal.

The latest blockade, however, is likely to force the two allies to cancel the deal, persuading Islamabad to look for other options.

US officials in Washington were contacted for comments on the announcement made in Ankara but did not respond.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2021



Any idea if this is true?
 

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