Turkey, Philippines sign MoU for T129 combat helicopter purchase

Turkey and the Philippines on December 18 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for defense cooperation in the Philippine capital Manilla. The deal, which includes a potential order of TAI 129 attack helicopters, was signed by Ismail Demir, the head of Turkey's Defense Industries Presidency (SSB), and Delfin Lorenzana, the Defense Secretary of the Philippines.

TurkeyPhilippines sign MoU for T129 combat helicopter purchase 001 TAI T129 ATAK combat helicopter scale model
(Credit: SSB/Twitter)

The Philippine Air Force was planning to purchase 24 attack helicopters within the scope of the Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project, but reduced the number to eight to 10 due to budgetary concerns. 

The Philippine Air Force’s technical working group (TWG) previously identified the T129 ATAK of the Turkish Aerospace Industries for its attack helicopter project.

Turkey previously inked an agreement with Pakistan for the sale of 30 T129 ATAK helicopters.

The T129 is an attack and multirole combat helicopter developed for the Turkish Army. It is enhanced version of the Agusta A129 Mangusta. The T129 helicopter can be armed with eight anti-tank guided missile and air-to-air missiles. A 20mm three-barrel Gatling-type turreted cannon with 500 rounds of ammunition is mounted under the nose.

The attack helicopter has been already delivered to Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in 2014. Currently, 35 T129 ATAK helicopters are being used by the TSK and the Gendarmerie Command.