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

GriffinsRule

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You're right, but you're referring to the T929, which is a 9-10-ton attack helicopter.

The T629 is a 6-ton design similar to the T129 (albeit a little heavier). However, the Turkish Armed Forces don't have a requirement for it. TAI said they're just waiting for some interest before continuing its development. I actually suspect that TAI is waiting for the military version of TEI's TS1400 turboshaft engine as the ideal target buyer (i.e. Pakistan) would want an ITAR-free system.

You're right about the Bell 412EPs too. However, since the Pumas are old, I think the system replacing those would also replace the Bell 412EPs later.
Ah you are right, I was thinking of the T929
 

SQ8

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One big boon of loitering munitions (LOM) is dispersal and pre-deployment. You can build these munitions into multicell launch canisters and load them onto a Hilux. Heck, even a donkey can potentially pull a canister. You could send these launchers to the front in advance of any conflict and activate an attack within hours or even minutes of being told to attack.

However, if the future attack helicopter's role is more along the lines of what you describe (Bell Invictus), then I think the required platform could be fairly small and lightweight. No more than 6-tons IMHO. Ironically, Pakistan could take a stab at its own original project. The core inputs that could work are actually available to us via COTS (e.g. PT6C), we'd just need an experienced designer to pull it together.

IMO...South Africa's Paramount Group is such a company. Fun fact: One of the companies they absorbed (ATE) had actually proposed a lightweight attack helicopter to the world market. It was to draw on COTS inputs. I think the team that proposed this project eventually developed the Mwari. So, they seem to know what they're talking about...

This was the proposal: 'New Attack Helicopter'

View attachment 799576
The other aspect that comes with that is economies of scale. If you have a loitering munition you can mass produce that goes on multiple platforms then you can think about swarm logic where dispensing systems hit mechanized formations from different axis and altitudes.
 

dBSPL

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As I understand from here, Pakistani defense enthusiasts are uncomfortable with the continuation of the T-129 project, as they have not seen any progress, and they suggest alternative sources such as Russian and Chinese.

As someone who follows the subject from the outside, the following question comes to my mind: So then why doesn't Pakistan take a concrete step and turn to alternatives? May the equation may not be as simple as set up here.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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As I understand from here, Pakistani defense enthusiasts are uncomfortable with the continuation of the T-129 project, as they have not seen any progress, and they suggest alternative sources such as Russian and Chinese.

As someone who follows the subject from the outside, the following question comes to my mind: So then why doesn't Pakistan take a concrete step and turn to alternatives? May the equation may not be as simple as set up here.
Basically what Pakistan does and what Pak Def enthusiasts want aren't always the same. I suspect the PAA may not be going for another attack helicopter because, well, they don't have the cash for it. They ordered the T129 on a flexible installment basis (thanks to the Turkish gov't). It's very possible that the PAA (to retain that financing arrangement) simply transferred the focus from T129 to the T629 (if ITAR-free). We won't hear of anything until the military-grade TS1400 is ready.

That said, for what it's worth, I heard credible claims of the PAA testing Z-10ME.
 

iLION12345_1

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As I understand from here, Pakistani defense enthusiasts are uncomfortable with the continuation of the T-129 project, as they have not seen any progress, and they suggest alternative sources such as Russian and Chinese.

As someone who follows the subject from the outside, the following question comes to my mind: So then why doesn't Pakistan take a concrete step and turn to alternatives? May the equation may not be as simple as set up here.
I think you’re interpreting it the wrong way, nobody is uncomfortable with the continuation of T-129 nor does anyone have any issues with the progress of the Turkish defense industry , the Turkish engine is actually not delayed, it’s timeline is quite normal (so far at least), its just that the normal timeline for that engine to be ready is too long for for Pakistan according to many, and I’d be inclined to agree, since the Pakistani AH-1F fleet is getting very old.
Also, by the time said engine is ready, the T-129B itself will be needing some upgrades (T-129C? Or maybe T-629 is what I’m thinking of) to stay relevant against competitors (Italian and Chinese),

There are no Russian alternatives at the moment for Pakistan, the only realistic alternative is Z-10ME, and the reason for delay in procurement could be anything from funds (as Bilal mentioned above, the payment scheme for the T-129s was very attractive) to future plans with T-129/T-629 that we may not be aware of. But to be clear, the interest shown in Z-10M/ME was just as much as T-129. Imo just the basic performance difference between the types (Z-10M<T-129B<Z-10ME) also played a part in the earlier decision apart from the funding.

But The only reason Pakistan didn’t get the T-129 is because the US blocked them specifically for Pakistan, Turkey was not at fault nor are the helicopters held back because of the Turkish defense industry. So that should be clear to all Pakistani posters as well.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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I think you’re interpreting it the wrong way, nobody is uncomfortable with the continuation of T-129 nor does anyone have any issues with the progress of the Turkish defense industry , the Turkish engine is actually not delayed, it’s timeline is quite normal (so far at least), its just that the normal timeline for that engine to be ready is too long for for Pakistan according to many, and I’d be inclined to agree, since the Pakistani AH-1F fleet is getting very old.
Also, by the time said engine is ready, the T-129B itself will be needing some upgrades (T-129C? Or maybe T-629 is what I’m thinking of) to stay relevant against competitors (Italian and Chinese),

There are no Russian alternatives at the moment for Pakistan, the only realistic alternative is Z-10ME, and the reason for delay in procurement could be anything from funds (as Bilal mentioned above, the payment scheme for the T-129s was very attractive) to future plans with T-129/T-629 that we may not be aware of. But to be clear, the interest shown in Z-10M/ME was just as much as T-129. Imo just the basic performance difference between the types (Z-10M<T-129B<Z-10ME) also played a part in the earlier decision apart from the funding.

But The only reason Pakistan didn’t get the T-129 is because the US blocked them specifically for Pakistan, Turkey was not at fault nor are the helicopters held back because of the Turkish defense industry. So that should be clear to all Pakistani posters as well.
It's also worth noting that the AH-1Z was the only platform that excelled in every area. Otherwise, both the T-129 and Z-10M had trade-offs. The Z-10M lost the original tender because it had more trade-offs than the T-129. However, the Z-10ME solved the Z-10M's main issues. IMO, if the PAA isn't ordering it now, then the obstacle is a lack of money more so than anything else.

But to be frank, if the PAA could have its way in ideal terms, it would've gone for an all AH-1Z fleet.

From its sand-filtering, hot-temperature performance, salt-erosion-proofing, payload, range, maintainability, and even acquisition cost, the AH-1Z was absolutely amazing. Moreover, the UH-1Y would've been the go-to utility helicopter (thanks 85%+ commonality with the AH-1Z) for replacing the Puma's as well. You couldn't get a better deal for $45 m all-in per pop for both types. If not for the threat of sanctions, our entire helicopter fleet would be American today and in the future.
 
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sparten

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t's also worth noting that the AH-1Z was the only platform that excelled in every area. Otherwise, both the T-129 and Z-10M had trade-offs. The Z-10M lost the original tender because it had more trade-offs than the T-129. However, the Z-10ME solved the Z-10M's main issues. IMO, if the PAA isn't ordering it now, then the obstacle is a lack of money more so than anything else.

But to be frank, if the PAA could have its way in ideal terms, it would've gone for an all AH-1Z fleet.

From its sand-filtering, hot-temperature performance, salt-erosion-proofing, payload, range, maintainability, and even acquisition cost, the AH-1Z was absolutely amazing. Moreover, the UH-1Y would've been the go-to utility helicopter (thanks 85%+ commonality with the AH-1Z) for replacing the Puma's as well. You couldn't get a better deal for $45 m all-in per pop for both types. If not for the threat of sanctions, our entire helicopter fleet would be American today and in the future.
We need a Super-7/FC1 project for the PAA. T-129 can be that.
 

SQ8

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It's also worth noting that the AH-1Z was the only platform that excelled in every area. Otherwise, both the T-129 and Z-10M had trade-offs. The Z-10M lost the original tender because it had more trade-offs than the T-129. However, the Z-10ME solved the Z-10M's main issues. IMO, if the PAA isn't ordering it now, then the obstacle is a lack of money more so than anything else.

But to be frank, if the PAA could have its way in ideal terms, it would've gone for an all AH-1Z fleet.

From its sand-filtering, hot-temperature performance, salt-erosion-proofing, payload, range, maintainability, and even acquisition cost, the AH-1Z was absolutely amazing. Moreover, the UH-1Y would've been the go-to utility helicopter (thanks 85%+ commonality with the AH-1Z) for replacing the Puma's as well. You couldn't get a better deal for $45 m all-in per pop for both types. If not for the threat of sanctions, our entire helicopter fleet would be American today and in the future.
They just had to pay for it out of pocket
 

Battlion25

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As I understand from here, Pakistani defense enthusiasts are uncomfortable with the continuation of the T-129 project, as they have not seen any progress, and they suggest alternative sources such as Russian and Chinese.

As someone who follows the subject from the outside, the following question comes to my mind: So then why doesn't Pakistan take a concrete step and turn to alternatives? May the equation may not be as simple as set up here.
I agree with this suggestion
 

Polestar 2

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As I understand from here, Pakistani defense enthusiasts are uncomfortable with the continuation of the T-129 project, as they have not seen any progress, and they suggest alternative sources such as Russian and Chinese.

As someone who follows the subject from the outside, the following question comes to my mind: So then why doesn't Pakistan take a concrete step and turn to alternatives? May the equation may not be as simple as set up here.
The conclusion I can get is , attack helo is already not a priority for PA. With rise of UCAV, they can loiter longer, no manned meaning no casualty. Cheap to operate. The more and more capable UCAV introduce meaning, they can carry more censor and more weapon payload to make them almost as capable as attack helo.

The very fact PA purchase CH-4 and CH-5 from China more or less proves this point, they can fly much higher attitude, faster speed, long loiter time.

Without TA-129, it wouldn't affect too much of PA anti-insurgent or terrorism doctrine. If TA-129 is here, its bonus.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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They just had to pay for it out of pocket
Yep, but it wouldn't surprise me if all this was more of a GHQ decision than a PAA decision. As I said before, it'll be interesting to see how things shape up once this GHQ retires. The PAA could simply be stalling. It's funny that the US literally stored our AH-1Zs - not even remarket them. It could be that there's an understanding in place and once 'uncle jee' moves on the program will be back in motion. I'm sure the PAA took notice of the USMC AH-1Zs being stored too...
 

denel

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One big boon of loitering munitions (LOM) is dispersal and pre-deployment. You can build these munitions into multicell launch canisters and load them onto a Hilux. Heck, even a donkey can potentially pull a canister. You could send these launchers to the front in advance of any conflict and activate an attack within hours or even minutes of being told to attack.

However, if the future attack helicopter's role is more along the lines of what you describe (Bell Invictus), then I think the required platform could be fairly small and lightweight. No more than 6-tons IMHO. Ironically, Pakistan could take a stab at its own original project. The core inputs that could work are actually available to us via COTS (e.g. PT6C), we'd just need an experienced designer to pull it together.

IMO...South Africa's Paramount Group is such a company. Fun fact: One of the companies they absorbed (ATE) had actually proposed a lightweight attack helicopter to the world market. It was to draw on COTS inputs. I think the team that proposed this project eventually developed the Mwari. So, they seem to know what they're talking about...

This was the proposal: 'New Attack Helicopter'

View attachment 799576
They definitely can absorb this work. There are 3 opportunities if we think about it.
1. Entire Puma fleet can be reworked into Oryx platform; as of now they picked up this work and are supporting the upgrade locally here.
2. They are also known for their upgrade work on Mi24; similarly same can be applied to the gunships that were recently procured from Russia.
3. A long term plan needs to be addressed for complete independence from either Turkey/China or a hybrid with complete in house partnership with Paramount.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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They definitely can absorb this work. There are 3 opportunities if we think about it.
1. Entire Puma fleet can be reworked into Oryx platform; as of now they picked up this work and are supporting the upgrade locally here.
2. They are also known for their upgrade work on Mi24; similarly same can be applied to the gunships that were recently procured from Russia.
3. A long term plan needs to be addressed for complete independence from either Turkey/China or a hybrid with complete in house partnership with Paramount.
For #3 I think a COTS-heavy approach is tenable. It just depends on the PAA's future requirements. If we are moving towards a UCAV-heavy environment, then payload and range may not matter as much. Rather, we'd need a platform that can manage loitering munitions and do unmanned air teaming with VTOL UCAVs. The latter can carry the payload and take on the risk, while the manned platform (as @SQ8 said) sits back.

If that is the approach, you can design a LO-focused design around 2 PT6Cs. I think Paramount Group could probably design the airframe.

The real chokepoints are the critical inputs, like engine, rotors, transmission, etc.

If the payload is intentionally capped at x2 ATGMs on each wing with a 20 mm gun, I don't think anyone would have an issue with releasing the engine and other critical inputs.

In their eyes, these attack helicopters are just armed scouts, but in actuality, they're a critical management node for a vast loitering munition and VTOL UCAV network. Instead of weapons, you focus on the sensor suite, data links and ECM. Moreover, you don't even need this type of platform to do this work, so there's no point in blocking the inputs to Pakistan. However, we'd need some kind of tandem-seat attack helicopter capability, e.g., for COIN/CT or light CAS.

Something like the Japanese OH-1, but bigger, could be really interesting:

1639068837802.png
 

denel

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For #3 I think a COTS-heavy approach is tenable. It just depends on the PAA's future requirements. If we are moving towards a UCAV-heavy environment, then payload and range may not matter as much. Rather, we'd need a platform that can manage loitering munitions and do unmanned air teaming with VTOL UCAVs. The latter can carry the payload and take on the risk, while the manned platform (as @SQ8 said) sits back.

If that is the approach, you can design a LO-focused design around 2 PT6Cs. I think Paramount Group could probably design the airframe.

The real chokepoints are the critical inputs, like engine, rotors, transmission, etc.

If the payload is intentionally capped at x2 ATGMs on each wing with a 20 mm gun, I don't think anyone would have an issue with releasing the engine and other critical inputs.

In their eyes, these attack helicopters are just armed scouts, but in actuality, they're a critical management node for a vast loitering munition and VTOL UCAV network. Instead of weapons, you focus on the sensor suite, data links and ECM. Moreover, you don't even need this type of platform to do this work, so there's no point in blocking the inputs to Pakistan. However, we'd need some kind of tandem-seat attack helicopter capability, e.g., for COIN/CT or light CAS.

Something like the Japanese OH-1, but bigger, could be really interesting:

View attachment 799958
Correct; the airframe is doable as well as all the systems within. The question will be to source the remaining. Knowing Paramount, they are masters at sourcing everything under the sun.
 

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