Turkish Attack Heli Competition Stumbles Again

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AH-1Z: Flying away?(click to view full) Back on August 15, 2005, DID noted the revival of Turkey’s on-again, off-again attack helicopter buy. The program has been plagued by a combination of political hesitancy and contract demands from the Turkish government that have killed past deals. Meanwhile, the program has been scaled back from 145 helicopters to just 50 – and now Turkish Daily News reports that procurement of an initial batch of 30 attack helicopters is facing fresh delays and a possible decision by the leading contender not to bid. Turkey has become concerned that its limited number of helicopter gunships – 7 AH-1W Super Cobras and about 20 earlier AH-1 Cobra versions – may fail to meet the military’s operational requirements given that the Kurdish terrorist PKK resumed its attacks in May 2005. Yet the problems they face are almost wholly of their own making. Tough Turkey In fairness, this postponement of a critical bidding deadline from Sept. 13th to Nov. 8, 2005 apparently came at the vendors’ request. Meanwhile, the Turkish Daily News reports that officials responsible for procurement hope this will give them extra time to “sort out a few disputed clauses in the contract specifications before […]

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