Turkey officially started Tuesday a 3-billion USD project to manufacture a gunship helicopter in association with the Italian rotorcraft company, AgustaWestland.
A ceremony was held at the Turkish Aeorospace Industries (TUSAS) in the Turkish capital, Ankara, which was participated by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Chief General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit.
TUSAS, the main contractor of the project, will manufacture 50 plus 41 Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter (ATAK-T129) for the Turkish Land Forces with AgustaWestland which will provide the engine, the flight control system and the aircraft position monitoring system.
Speaking at the ceremony Erdogan said the project was a major step to reduce Turkey's dependence on foreign companies in defense industry.
Erdogan said project software would be created a hundred percent by Turkish engineers and the helicopter would carry Turkey-made weapons.
PM Erdogan also received Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in Ankara on Tuesday.
The meeting was closed to press.
Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2008, 11:43