Turkish Defense Industry Head: US Sanctions will not affect sale of helicopters to Pakistan


  • The new US sanctions on the Turkish defense sector will not affect Turkey’s sale of T129 helicopters to Pakistan.
  • However, the sale of other Turkish aircraft to Pakistan might be affected.

A Turkish TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK helicopter. Pakistan purchased 30 of these in 2018.

Turkey’s top defense industry official said on Tuesday any US sanctions against Ankara would not affect the country’s several existing projects, including a helicopter deal with Pakistan.

A Turkish T129 helicopter is on an exhibit during the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. (Airman Micaiah Anthony/U.S. Air Force)

However, other deals with Islamabad, such as the Pakistan Atak helicopter and Hürjet aircraft projects, could be affected.

İsmail Demir, the head of Turkey’s Defence Industries Presidency (SSB). (Raşid Necati Aslım/Anadolu Agency)

İsmail Demir, the head of Turkey’s Defence Industries Presidency (SSB), said that the defense industry would continue to move forward, despite new US sanctions.

“We expect this not to affect our relationships too much,” he told reporters after speaking to parliament.

The flags of the “kardeşçe” (brotherly) countries, Turkey and Pakistan.

The US on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

The sanctions, coming under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), target the SSB, including Demir and three other officials.

The SSB chief underlined that the sanctions should not affect existing projects, such as the T70 helicopter.

The Turkish HÜRJET Aircraft. Pakistan will be unable to buy these due to US sanctions on Turkey. (Turkish Aerospace)

However, Demir added that the Pakistan Atak helicopter and Hürjet aircraft projects would probably be affected as they have US-made parts in them.

A Turkish TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK helicopter.

In 2018, Turkey and Pakistan signed a deal for the sale of 30 T129 ATAK helicopters, the most significant single export agreement in the Turkish defense industry’s history.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • Of course, it will be affected as it uses American engines and each and every export delivery has to be approved by the USA.


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