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Turkey signs helicopters deals with Sikorsky

Staff writer |
Sikorsky Aircraft has signed agreements with the Turkish government and aerospace contractors to manufacture 109 T-70 helicopters (Turkish variants of Sikorsky's S-70i) for the Turkish Government, and to assemble 109 S-70i helicopters for Sikorsky.

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The agreements license the transfer of certain manufacturing technology to Turkish industry, and provide for the potential to produce up to a total of 600 aircraft, including both T-70 units for Turkish indigenous use and S-70i aircraft for export over the next 30 years. The agreements are subject to requisite export approvals.

"This program is unprecedented in Sikorsky's 90-year history. We have signed contracts that collectively will raise our already strong supplier and customer relationships in Turkey to levels that we expect will endure for decades," said Sikorsky president Mick Maurer.

Under the program, known as the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program, Sikorsky has signed agreements with the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) and two Turkish defense contractors, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) and Aselsan A.Ş. TAI is the prime contractor for T-70 licensed production and assembly in Turkey for multi-mission use by the Turkish government.

The aircraft will be assembled in Turkey by TAI and will include components supplied by Sikorsky and other American and Turkish companies. Aselsan will develop a new cockpit avionics system that will be featured in the T-70 aircraft.

Turkey's Defence Industry Executive Committee has reported a total program value of $3.5 billion, inclusive of the work to be performed by Sikorsky, TAI and other TUHP suppliers. In addition to the work with TAI and Aselsan, Sikorsky will expand the manufacturing capability of Alp Aviation, which is 50 percent owned by Sikorsky.

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