The sale of Turkish-made T129 ATAK helicopter gunships to Pakistan has hit a snag as no engines have been found to power the helicopters since the United States failed to issue the license for their export, local Turkish media reported.
Turkey and Pakistan signed a $1.5 billion deal for the Turkish-made helicopter gunships on July 13, 2018. The delivery date of the first helicopter was pushed back after the US State Department last year refused to issue an export license for the gunships’ LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines. The T800-4A is an export version of the CTS800 engine, produced by a joint venture between the American firm Honeywell and the British company Rolls Royce.
Producers in France and Poland are being considered as potential suppliers of the engine, according to the Hürriyet newspaper.
The deal between Ankara and Islamabad calls for the delivery of 30 T129 ATAK helicopters to Pakistan. Pakistan’s current AH-1F Cobra gunships lack the capability to perform adequately over the higher altitudes of the Hindu Kush mountain range, separating Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to officials.