It has taken almost three years, but Turkey finally signed the contract for the purchase of 109 Sikorsky T-70 Black Hawk helicopters, Turkish sources say. The T-70 is a version of the S-70i, adapted to Turkish needs so a lot of the work can be done by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The announced price of US$ 3.5 billion apparently hasn’t been adjusted in the time it took to finalize the deal.
TAI will make the cabin, the special Turkish cockpit and the rotor blades, with Sikorsky support. General Electric has licensed the engines to Turkish Engine Industries (TEI). Other Turkish sub contractors are Apata (transmission) and Aselsan (electronics).
Of the 109 new Black Hawks to be rolling out of the factory in Turkish Ankara the coming decade the Gendarmerie (Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı, JGK) will get the most, with 30 helicopters. Each 20 T-70s will go to the Turkish Land Forces (Türk Kara Kuvvetleri, TKK), the General Directorate of Security (Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü, EGM) to be flown by the National Police, and the Ministry of Forest and Water Management (Orman ve Su İşleri Bakanlığı, OSİB). The Special Forces Command (Özel Kuvvetler Komutanlığı, ÖKK) will get eleven, the Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri, THK) six. Finally, a pair of T-70s will go the Gölbaşi command unit of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT).
The government and defence services of Turkey already fly many older S-70 derivatives, with 106 with the Land Forces and 28 with the Gendarmerie. The Turkish Naval Forces (Türk Deniz Kuvvetleri, TDK) ordering 17 new S-70B Seahawks back in 2006 to complement the seven it already had.
Sources: Turkish Government / Sikorsky