Prospect of Russian Turkish Combat Helicopter Consortium Being Discussed

ANKARA (Itar-Tass)–The Russian state company "Rosvooruzhenie" is likely to enter a joint consortium with Turkey for the production of combat helicopters Ka-50 and KA-52 which operate under all weather conditions. The consortium is to incorporate the Kamov company which builds such helicopters–a number of Russian helicopter plans–the Turkish "Tusas Aerospace Industries" and the Israeli State Corporation "Aviation Industries."

The prospect for establishing the joint consortium appeared shortly after the "Rosvooruzhenie" put forward a commercial initiative in the wake of tenders announced by Turkey to launch joint production of helicopters of a new generation. In the opinion of a number of experts–the Russian technology of helicopter production combined with sophisticated Israeli military electronic technologies are likely to make the would-be alliance very competitive. If an agreement is reached helicopters will be assembled at enterprises of the TAI corporation in the suburb of Ankara.

In the first stage–around 145 helicopters worth $3.5 billion are expected to be built. This will be followed by another batch of 700-800 helicopters. In the near future–Turkish partners are to familiarize themselves with helicopter building plants directly in Russia. Taking part in the tenders are a number of European and American companies. Their proposals will be considered by Turkish partners until March and the final decision on partners will be made by the end of the year.

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