• Monday, July 22, 2019

Turkish Arms Sales to Pakistan are Booming as Broader Alliance Emerges

Discussion in 'Pakistan Defence & Industry' started by HAIDER, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. HAIDER

    HAIDER ELITE MEMBER

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    Published June 23rd, 2019 - 11:56 GMT
    [​IMG]
    The Turkish T129 Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance helicopter /Wikimedia




    By Sabena Siddiqui

    Going back over centuries to when Turkish-origin Mughal emperors ruled the entire Indian subcontinent, Pakistan shares historical, cultural and religious roots with Turkey. Even Pakistan’s official national language Urdu has its linguistic roots in the Turkish language and it is a precious friendship. One of the best examples of the Pak-Turk emotional bond is that quite a few landmarks in Pakistani cities are named after Turkey’s leader Kemal Ataturk, while a central avenue in Ankara is named ‘Cinnah Cadesi’ after Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah.


    After Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan visit to Ankara in early 2019, bilateral ties with Turkey have been further enhanced on military and strategic levels. Being traditional allies, Turkey and Pakistan have a special rapport but their recent consolidation of defense interests is un-precedented and it signifies a convergence of national interests of both the nations.


    Turkey and Pakistan have a special rapport but their recent consolidation of defense interests is un-precedented and it signifies a convergence of national interests of both the nations.

    Previously, a Pak-Turk Military Consultative Group (MSG) had been established in 1988 while the first high-level military dialogue was established in 2003. Now under this same mechanism nearly 60 agreements for defense co-operation have been inked and the forum has been upgraded to a High-Level Strategic Co-operation Council.

    Several recent developments may have helped to consolidate the Pak-Turk dimension;

    First, the regional geopolitical scenario is getting worse and Turkey faces new risks on its borders due to the ongoing Syrian civil war and Arab-world frictions with Iran and Qatar. Likewise, Pakistan faces a terror threat from across its border with Afghanistan.

    Second, U.S. relations with both Turkey and Pakistan have been extremely erratic over the past year. While Istanbul does not share the same stance as Washington over the situation in Syria, Pak-U.S. ties have been unpredictable due to the never-ending civil war and instability in Afghanistan. With the Istanbul Tripartite Summit between Turkey-Pakistan-Afghanistan, Ankara will be playing an important role in resolving the Afghanistan conundrum soon.

    Based on these developments, Pak-Turk ties have become further enmeshed and defense is top priority. This can be further gauged from the fact that three military attaches from each of the forces have been posted in the Pakistan embassy at Ankara. Upgrading defense relations became essential when Pakistan faced constraints on the upkeep of F-16s it was provided by the U.S.

    Filling the vacuum left by Washington, Istanbul came to the rescue and helped upgrade a batch of 41 F16 fighter jets for the Pakistan Air Force, manufacturing engines as well as spare parts for the aircraft. And after a plethora of significant defense deals in 2018, Turkey has become Pakistan’s second biggest arms supplier after China. And after a plethora of significant defense deals in 2018, Turkey has become Pakistan’s second biggest arms supplier after China.

    after a plethora of significant defense deals in 2018, Turkey has become Pakistan’s second biggest arms supplier after China

    Two of the largest defense deals between Islamabad and Ankara have been the procurement of four MILGEM Ada Corvettes for the Pakistan Navy and the sale of 30 Turkish T129 Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance (ATAK) helicopters to Pakistan. According to the then National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, the sale of the four ships was ‘the largest single export in the history of the Turkish defense industry’, it was a multi-billion deal and two ships each would be built in Istanbul and Karachi respectively.

    Even the ATAK helicopters deal is worth $ 1.5 billion. Notably, ATAK helicopters are indigenously manufactured by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) under license from the Italian-British AgustaWestland and are prestigious assets for the Turkish Army. In 2017, Turkey had purchased 52 MFI-17 Super Mushshak training planes from Pakistan and it remains the second most prominent participant (after China) in Pakistan’s International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS).

    Having a growing defense industry, Pakistan wants to make headway in the global market and it has been supplying small arms to Turkey in compliance with NATO specifications. According to former air force pilot Kaiser Tufail, closer defense ties “could well take the shape of a ‘Block-4’ JF-17 developed by Turkey and Pakistan” to be “considered for joint design and co-production”, after which “a stealth fighter would then be a logical next step.”

    Collaborating in the production of unmanned aerial vehicles these days, both countries could also focus on manufacturing a fifth-generation fighter jet, especially as Pakistan has already co-produced the JF-17 Thunder with China.

    Having a growing defense industry, Pakistan wants to make headway in the global market and it has been supplying small arms to Turkey in compliance with NATO specifications.

    Not limited to products and defense capabilities, Turkey and Pakistan are also training their troops to meet any unforeseen challenge together. Considering the fast-changing and erratic security dynamics in the Middle East and South Asia in recent years, military preparedness is essential.

    In this connection, six -day exercises between Turkish, Pakistani and Uzbek armies were held in the last week of April in eastern Uzbekistan. Named the Partnership Shield 2019, these drills simulated terrorist infiltrations in a country and the next phase will take place in Turkey.

    Having had annual military and air force training exchange programs since 2000, Turkey has also been providing training to Pakistan Air Force pilots and helped in the upkeep of Pakistan's fleet of F-16 aircraft. Over the last decade, nearly 1500 Pakistani military officers have received training in Turkey

    Addressing officers at the Risalpur air force base recently, Turkish Air Force Chief General Hasan Kucukakyuz resolved that “Turkey will always stand by Pakistan through thick and thin”, and this statement exemplifies the Turkey-Pakistan equation.

    As a strategic partner, Islamabad can help Ankara bridge the divide between the East and West. Preferring ambiguous neutrality to taking sides, Ankara has maintained balance in its foreign policy and extending military ties with Pakistan increases its leverage in Asia even as the European Union (EU)is trying to assess a new direction.


    As a strategic partner, Islamabad can help Ankara bridge the divide between the East and West. Preferring ambiguous neutrality to taking sides, Ankara has maintained balance in its foreign policy and extending military ties with Pakistan increases its leverage in Asia even as the European Union (EU)is trying to assess a new direction.

    As demonstrated time and again, Ankara remains the most dependable ally for Islamabad, it was the only country which supported Pakistan when it was being put on the ‘grey list’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last year. Another instance of unflinching Turkish support is its backing Pakistan’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group based on non-discriminatory criteria.

    Along with strategic ties, economic engagement has also speeded up and a Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) and Free Trade Agreement are being mulled over. Once operational, the SEF could increase the trade volume five times over. Meanwhile, a direct Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad TIR trade corridor was inaugurated last year in April. Linking up Iran, Central Asia, Turkey and Europe, the trade possibilities with this fast-track route are endless.


    Sabena Siddiqui is a foreign affairs journalist and geopolitical analyst based out of Karachi.
     
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  2. Avicenna

    Avicenna SENIOR MEMBER

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    Alhamdulilah.

    Really happy to see this.

    May other muslim majority nations become AWARE.
     
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  3. Ahmad Bhutta

    Ahmad Bhutta FULL MEMBER

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    Where are our t129s waiting since forever for deliveries
     
  4. GIANTsasquatch

    GIANTsasquatch SENIOR MEMBER

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    This has to be fake loool
     
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  5. dBSPL

    dBSPL FULL MEMBER

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    I agree that, I think some of the feasibility studies conducted between China, Pakistan and Turkey, for about JF-17B4's opening to Turkish aerospace industry.
     
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  6. HAIDER

    HAIDER ELITE MEMBER

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    I think China has other projects , which generate more revenue. Now JF17 is Pakistani project. China is not doing any marketing. Only it provide after sale service and parts guarantee to end users. JF17 now need future development to capture low cost third world stealth market.
     
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  7. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster SENIOR MEMBER

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    If Turkey and Pak make headway in developing their defense industry to a point where their defense products are inducted in various militaries and battle proven...then slowly other Muslim nations will start joining in their ventures.
     
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  8. Avicenna

    Avicenna SENIOR MEMBER

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    Would be nice to have some Qatari funding!
     
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  9. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    But it won't be block 4 but may be JF18 or something because it will involve significant changes in the main airframe and aerodynamic surfaces and avionics
     
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  10. Hachiman

    Hachiman STAFF

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    China continues to market JF-17 for international costumers alongside PAC.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  11. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster SENIOR MEMBER

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    They traditionally use their money to buy protection...as can be seen from their collection of Rafales, Typhoon, and US jets. They wouldn't invest in these sorts of projects bcuz their security can be guaranteed by the Western powers.
     
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  12. Avicenna

    Avicenna SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yea very true.

    But that’s a rather dangerous way to live.

    Perhaps some backdoor funding for potentially more reliable suppliers.

    Also self sufficiency in critical capabilities for Muslims countries won’t come easily when working alone.

    But resources combined might give us more of a chance.

    Just a thought.

    But a Pakistan Turkey Qatar understanding would be intriguing as each brings something to the table.

    But of course outside powers (and their proxies from within) will do everything in their capacity to derail any such attempts.
     
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  13. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster SENIOR MEMBER

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    Right what u r saying makes sense and that's how it SHOULD be...however so far it seems like all Muslim countries are busy with their myopic views doing their own thing.

    Qatar(and other oil rich countries) SHOULD use their exorbitant amounts of wealth to kickstart a combined Muslim countries defense industry...which will be good in ensuring sanction proof(and potentially tamper proof) defense goodies for all the partners. However where are they going to find the common sense to do so? They r happy living in the NOW.

    The only Muslim country I see joining Turkey/Pak duo soon...in defense partnerships is Indonesia.
     
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  14. Avicenna

    Avicenna SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yea clearly SHOULD and reality are unfortunately two totally different things.

    And personally I’m not optimistic regarding Muslim majority countrys’ leaderships.

    But hopefully countries can take a lesson from this blossoming Turkey Pakistan cooperation.

    InshAllah.
     
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  15. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    Thank you---. I was about to say that---. Good thinking---.
     
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