TURKEY Hires Washington Lobbying Firm To Secure The Sale Of T129 ATAK Helicopters To PAKISTAN:
PAKISTAN’s Iron Brother and All Weather Ally, TURKEY has hired the Washington-based Greenberg lobbying firm to complete the $1.5 Billion sales of T129 ATAK Helicopters to PAKISTAN.
In 2018, PAKISTAN has cut the deal with the TURKISH Defense Giant TURKISH Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the procurement of 30 numbers of T129 ATAK Helicopters. This is the single biggest Arms Export Deal of TURKEY.
However, the biased and double standard of US comes into play, which halted the delivery of T129 ATAK helicopters.
The T129 ATAK Helicopter is powered by the 2 numbers of LHTEC T800-4A Engine jointly manufactured by the UK Company Rolls-Royce and US Defense Firm Honeywell.
In order to pursue the policy of biased approach and double standard, the United States has reportedly hold the export clearance for LHTEC Engine.
TAI has given order engines for PAKISTAN’s T-129 ATAK Helicopters, but the deal hasn’t completed due to the unavailability of the engines.
A report published in TURKISH Media said, “Concerned by the continued delay of the sale to Pakistan, previously unreported filings required by the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act show that TURKISH Aerospace Industries-TAI (which manufactures the ATAK helicopter) hired US law firms, Greenberg Traurig LLP and its lobbying sub-contractor Capital Counsel LLC, to lobby the relevant congressional leaders and the White House to secure the requisite export licenses.”
After the request from its Iron Brother TURKEY, PAKISTAN has already extended the delivery timeline of T129 ATAK helicopters to one year back in January 2020.
Undersecretary for Defense Industry of TURKEY had given an official statement in this context on January 6, 2020, “PAKISTAN has agreed to give us another year (to deliver the helicopters). We hope we will be able to develop our indigenous engine soon to power the T129. After one year, PAKISTAN may be satisfied with the level of progress in our engine program, or the US may grant us the export license.”
According to the details, TURKISH Aerospace Industries (TAI) has hired US-based Greenberg Traurig for $25,000 charges per months to help clear engine order for PAKISTAN’s Next Generation Attack Helicopters.
TURKISH AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES (TAI) Has hired the services of US-based Lobbying Firm Greenberg to clear the passage of LHTEC T800-4A Engines for PAKISTAN’s T-129 ATAK Helicopters . . . 🇵🇰🇹🇷🇵🇰🇹🇷🇵🇰🇹🇷🇵🇰🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/EobWPEIhFv
— PAKDEFENSE.OFFICIAL (@PAKDEFENSE_COM) August 21, 2020
The TURKISH Aerospace Industries is owned by the TURKISH Armed Forces Foundation and the Presidency of Defense Industries. Both entities work under the TURKISH Ministry of National Defense.
There are 6 key former lawmakers and counselors are engaged in the process initiated by Greenberg, including Senior Director Albert Wynn, who is a former Democratic Congressman hails from Maryland. Director of Greenberg Laurie McKay and Attorney Robert Mangas.
From the Capitol Counsel, Charles Boustany, a Republican hail from Louisiana, along with principal Allegra Han and fellow partner Charles Towner French. Reportedly, all of the six individuals are already registered as the foreign agency working for the interests of the Government of TURKEY.
Engine Alternatives for TURKEY:
PAKISTAN’s Iron Brother and All Weather Ally, TURKEY is also actively engaged in the locally developed TS1400 Turboshaft Engine, which has nearly all the features and specs of LHTEC T800-4A Engines.
TURKEY has started to work on domestically developed engines back in 2017, however it is expected that TS1400 Turboshaft Engines to enter production around the year of 2025. So, both PAKISTAN and TURKEY cannot avail this engine due to the years of delay in mass production.
The engines are being developed by the sister company of TAI, Tusas Engine Industries or TEI. Reportedly, Tusas Engine Industries or TEI has already manufacturing turboshaft engines for the T626 Utility helicopters.
TEI has given a statement in its website pertaining the matter, “Turboshaft Engine Development Project (TEDP) in 2017 to decrease Turkey’s dependence on foreign sources while enabling domestic production of the engine systems, which constitute one of the most important components of these projects, and increasing the percentage of indigenous production in these projects.”
Options For PAKISTAN ARMY:
PAKISTAN ARMY has long sought to replace its existing and ageing fleet of Bell AH-1F Cobra Gunship Helicopters to match the power and potential of Boeing AH-64 Apaches, recently acquired by india.
On the other hand, PAKISTAN MILITARY Establishment is also pursuing other options to possibly acquire the Zhishengji-10 or Z-10ME Multi-role Combat Attack Helicopters from its Iron Brother and All-weather Ally and Friend, CHINA.
The Commander of PAKISTAN ARMY Aviation Corps, Major General Syed Najeeb Ahmed has announced back in February that due to the biased approach and double standard of the United States, PAKISTAN is looking other potential options, including the Z-10 Multi-Role Combat Attack Helicopters to balance power in South Asia.
PAKISTAN ARMY Commander Aviation Corps Major General Syed Najeeb Ahmed said, “We are looking for alternatives. One of them is CHINA’s Z-10ME Next Generation Helicopter, amongst others. In case the first two options do not materialize, this third option will be considered.”
The former Commander PAKISTAN ARMY Aviation, Major General Nasir said, “The Bell AH-1Z Helicopters are good for close support to the ground troops in Counterinsurgency Operations (COIN), but these choppers cannot be deployed at higher altitudes up to 8,000 ft or so.”
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