The Philippine Air Force has received the first two out of six T129B Attack Helicopters made by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
The TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform. The T129 was developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries with partner Agusta Westland.
Temel Kotil, general manager of TAI, told media, Inquirer, a Philippine publication, that the first two T129Bs were delivered on January 8.
In addition, Arsenio Andolong, spokesperson for the Department of National Defense (DND), previously said the next two units would be delivered in 2023 and the last two in 2024.
Once commissioned, the helicopters will be assigned to the 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force.
In July 2020, the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) signed a contract for the acquisition of six T129B helicopters from TAI for $280 million, through a government-to-government deal with the Turkish ministry of defense.
The T129B is a Turkish derivative of the Italian-designed AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta, but equipped with Turkish-developed systems and weapons.
The sale of the helicopter had been delayed, with the United States reportedly holding up export clearance for the LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines that power the T129B choppers. However, the engine export was allowed to go through as the export amount was below $25 million, the threshold required by law for congressional oversight covering significant defense sales with NATO allies.
The LHTEC T800-4A engine are made by a joint venture by American firm Honeywell and the British company Rolls-Royce.
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