Pakistan Turki Dosti Zindebat! [Long Live Turkey – Pakistan Friendship!]

Turkey enjoys deep-rooted brotherly and strategic relations with Pakistan. Since its independence, Pakistan has been enjoying very friendly and warm bilateral relations with Turkey in all fields especially defence. Military cooperation between these two brotherly countries, which started soon after Pakistan’s independence, has been flourishing ever since, resulting in closer cooperation and understanding between the Armed Forces of the two countries. Today, Turkey and Pakistan are important actors in their respective regions and share similar views on many international issues.

Pakistan and Turkey have long standing military cooperation dating back to 1954. On 2 April 1954, Pakistan and Turkey signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation. Both countries, valued as important states in their regions, have joined the US led Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) in 1955 and belonged to CENTO until 1979 when the treaty was dissolved after Iran withdrew.

Pakistan and Turkish Armed Forces have a long-standing, close and cordial relationship and the two brotherly countries are expanding ties through joint military exercises and defence production, building on a long tradition of military co-operation. Formed in 1988 between the two countries General Staffs, the Military Consultative Group was upgraded in 2002 to the status of a High Level Military Dialogue Group (HLMDG), and has had 11 meetings so far [the 11th meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey HLMDG was held in Ankara on 27-28 October 2015). For the last 15 years Turkey and Pakistan have built a steady foundation for extensive cooperation in a number of different areas related to defence and security. Cooperation between Pakistan and Turkish Armed Forces entails exchanges, participation in joint military exercises and training programs, mutually beneficial to both sides. In this context, Pakistan and Turkish Armed Forces have regularly trained with another in joint military exercises (e.g. Anatolian Eagle and Indus Viper air exercises, AMAN naval exercise and ATATURK and CINNAH SOF exercises, the Turkish Navy was also invited to participate in AMAN-17 exercise scheduled in February 2017). Since 2004 PAF fighters and pilots have been attending Anatolian Eagle Exercise, a multi-national air exercise held in Konya, Turkey. On June 17, 2015 Pakistan and Turkey signed an Air Force Pilot Training Exchange Agreement to help further improve bilateral relations, during the opening ceremony of the Multinational Military Flight Crew Training Centre (MMFCT-C) established at the 2nd Main Jet Base Command of the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) located in Izmir, Turkey. Under the terms of the agreement both Air Forces will exchange two pilots every year. On the other hand on March 26th, 2016, during PAF Academy Risalpur graduation ceremony, Turkish Air Force Commander General Abidin UNAL presented the PAF with 34 T-37C jet trainers, as gifts to mark the strength of the Pakistan-Turkey friendship. The agreement regarding the delivery/transfer of 34 T-37 jet trainers and their spare parts to PAF on a gratis basis was signed after the conclusion of Pakistan-Turkey HLMDG’s 11th meeting in October 2015.

Political and military leadership on both sides is focusing on enhancing defence cooperation between these two brotherly countries, during the visits of Turkish and Pakistani high-ranking political and military officials that took place regularly, discussions were held about the possibilities of local production, co-production, and transfer of technology for defence-related products according to the needs of the two countries. During the official visit of Pakistani delegation headed by Pakistani Secretary of Defence Production Lt. Gen. (retired) Syed Muhammad OWAIS to Ankara, Turkey, Pakistan and Turkey have reached an agreement on 5 May 2016 to increase defence industrial ties between the two countries. In early June 2016 Minister of National Defence of Turkey Fikri ISIK paid an official visit to Pakistan to meet his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad ASIF and other Pakistani officials. During their meeting Turkish and Pakistani Defence Ministers have discussed the bilateral defence cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey and reiterated their strong desire to deepen, broaden and strengthen their partnership in the defence sector. And, during the meetings of General Salih Zeki COLAK, Commander of the Turkish Land Forces, with Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad ASIF and Army Chief General Raheel SHARIF at Rawalpindi and Islamabad in September 2016, Pakistan and Turkey agreed to enhance and deepen the defence and military relations.

Turkey, which for several years has been promoting the development of its domestic defence industry, has also been fostering a strong partnership with Pakistan in the defence and aerospace sector. In recent years, the Pakistani-Turkish defence industrial relationship has continued to deepen, with more bilateral projects undertaken, especially after TAI successfully upgraded Pakistan’s 41 F-16C/D Block 15 fighters during October 2009 – September 2014 under the Peace Drive II Program and official induction of the Havelsan design and built Electronic Warfare Test and Training Range (EWT&TR/EHTES) into the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in January 2011.  

Considering Pakistan as an important marketplace for its indigenous, NATO standard high-tech defence and aerospace products Turkey is participating IDEAS 2016 Exhibition, with a National Pavilion hosting 21 of leading Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry companies including Aselsan, BMC, Havelsan, MKEK, Roketsan, Sarsılmaz, STM, TAI, TüBiTAK and Yonca-Onuk JV. As a premier defence industry show and the region’s one of the bests platform for international defence systems promotion the IDEAS 2016 will be held at Karachi Expo Centre from 22 to 25 November 2016.

 

 

Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry: A Tough Competitor and A Reliable Partner for Pakistan!

 

Like many developing countries in the world, establishing a local, self-sufficient defence sector is of vital importance for Turkey. As an emerging force in the global defence market, Turkey during the last 15 years has embarked on a defence equipment policy, which puts the major emphasis on indigenous manufacturing and development. Through a determined pursuit of technology transfers and co-production contracts - when defence equipment from abroad is built in Turkey - the country has been able to build up a formidable industry. Thus, the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry has achieved a remarkable progress in many areas over the last decade and steadily increasing its efforts to become self-sufficient.

According to the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) figures, as of January 2016 the Undersecretariat is managing around 450 defence and security programs in the land, air, space, sea, electronics and weapon systems areas for Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), Security General directorate (SGD, Turkish National Police), MIT (Intelligence Service), and other governmental organizations, including, but not limited to, the General Directorate of Forestry and the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA). Contracts were awarded (valued at US$31 Billion) in around 240 of these defence and security programmes and the remaining around 210 programmes are currently on going. 107 of the around 240 contracted defence and aerospace projects are being realised with in-country development model.

With about 31,242 employees (2014 figure according to Defence and Aerospace Industry Manufacturers Association SaSaD’s Defence & Aerospace Industries 2014 Performance Report and 35% of this figure are engineers) a combined turnover of US$5,101 Billion (2014 figure), and R&D spending of US$887 Million (2014 figure) the Turkish Defence and Aerospace Sector continues to grow at a global scale. The share of domestic procurements has also witnessed a noteworthy increase, from 25 per cent in 2003, 41.7 in 2007, 54 per cent in 2011 and to over 60 per cent in 2015. Target for 2016 is set as 70 per cent.

Today, Turkey is developing and producing all kinds of systems, excluding fighter jets (although the Engineering Development and Preliminary Design Phase of the National Combat Aircraft [MMU/TF-X] is being carried out by TAI in close cooperation with BAE Systems [as Foreign Cooperation Partner candidate], universities and other leading local companies), large transport aircraft, submarines (preliminary studies for MilDen [National Submarine] are being carried out at Research Centre Command [ArMerKom] of the Turkish Navy) and heavy-lift helicopters, and as of the end of 2015 the Turkish defence industry’s product portfolio features over 2.000 indigenously developed systems and subsystems, most of which have been designed, developed and produced by Turkish companies through R&D programmes funded by MoND/SSM and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TüBiTAK).

As a natural result of the great progress achieved by the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry in the recent years, the rate of foreign sales is increasing each year. In 1997 Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry export figure was about US$138 Million, in 2oo4 it reached to US$196.3 Million, the volume of Turkish defence and aerospace exports has mushroomed over the last 10 years and has reached around US$1.656 Billion in 2015. Turkey aims to increase its a combined turnover to US$6 Billion and arms exports to US$2 Billion by the end of 2016.

Turkey is targeting to become a top six country in the world in terms of defence and aerospace exports, and to reach a total of US$25 Billion (including US$10 Billions for the civilian aviation sector, US$5 Billion for Maintenance Repair and Overhaul [MRO] services, US$5 Billion for the security system sales and the US$5 Billion for the defence industry sales) of exports by 2023, the year that will mark the first centennial of the Republic of Turkey. Turkey could only be able to reach above mentioned figures with sales of high added value, indigenously developed platforms (such as T129 ATAK, ADA Class Corvettes, MALE Class ANKA UAVs, BAYRAKTAR TB2 and KARAYEL Tactical UAVs, BAYRAKTAR TB2-S UCAV, 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 Wheeled Armoured Vehicles and ALTAY MBT) and systems (such as weapon systems, radar systems, combat management systems and avionic systems). With the establishment of export promotion mechanisms Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry will become more competitive in the foreign markets and gain speed in export sales. As part of efforts to establish new export promotion mechanisms, on March 11, 2013 a Defence Industry Export Support Credit Protocol was signed between the SSM and Turk EximBank at the SSM Headquarters in Ankara, under which Turk EximBank will provide the necessary loans for financing government-to-government sales of specific types of defence and security products. Governments that wish to purchase Turkish defence sector products may apply for credits either directly to Turk EximBank or through Turkish defence companies (the producer of the required products) upon the approval of the SSM. In addition to this, the SSM also launched studies for the preparation of a new law to facilitate FMS like credit mechanism to allow government-to-government transactions for defence products and services and currently studying the barter mechanism. Turkey plans to sell its defence and aerospace products to some friendly countries, which experience shortage of funds, via barter deals. Under the barter deals defence and aerospace products would be exchanged with industrial goods, ‘weapons for goods’. If FMS like credit mechanism established and necessary legal arrangements for barter deals are realized then Turkey’s hand in export market will be strengthen and thus will be able to offer very generous economic package for defence sales like other competitors in the market such as China.

It should be noted that the products produced by the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry for TAF have also been sold internationally on the world markets. The wide use by TAF of products that have been designed and developed locally is a significant reference to their quality.

 

 

Turkey-Pakistan Defence Deals

 

The trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan is desired to be increased to US$1 Billion in 2016 and to US$2 Billion in next few years from the current level of US$600 Million (2015 figure, US$289 Million export and US$311 Million imports). Defence sales shall play an important role in this increase.

For some years Turkey has been trying to broaden defence industry links with Pakistan. Although Pakistan has many options it could pursue in Turkey, tight funding is limiting the extent Pakistan can engage with Turkey. Nevertheless, Turkey, a valued supplier that offers Pakistan a route to NATO standard Western technology, is currently one of the major arms sellers to Pakistan. As Turkey’s one of closest partners in defence, Pakistan has already bought considerable amount equipment from Turkey.

The Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry is vast and competent, and as such, it offers the Pakistani Armed Forces many possible areas of armament acquisition and development. During last four years Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector companies have secured several export contracts valued at around US$700 Million from Pakistan, including; US$350 Million deal for the Mid-Life Upgrade of Khalid Class Agosta 90B Submarines, US$80 Million contract for Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker construction, US$204 Million valued technology and know-how transfer for Software Defined Radios, US$25 Million deal for the procurement of 16 AselPOD EO/IR Targeting Systems.

During his official visit to Pakistan, Turkish MoND Fikri ISIK also discussed the possible sale of four ADA Class corvettes and T129 multi-role attack helicopters to Pakistan. “One of the most important issues between (the two countries) is a deal for T129 attack helicopters,” ISIK said during a press conference. Pakistan is also evaluating international tenders for an assault rifle for use by the Pakistan Army. The MKEK MPT-76 Modern Infantry Rifle, set to replace the Turkish military’s existing stock of G-3 and HK-33 infantry rifles manufactured by the MKEK in Turkey under German HK license, is among the international contenders in Pakistan. Turkey, on the other hand, is planning to purchase 52 MFI-395 Super Mushshak trainers to meet the Initial Flight Trainer requirement of the Turkish Air Force (TurAF). Contract s expected to award by the end of 2016. In addition to direct acquisitions of weapons, platforms and systems/subsystems, Pakistan could also utilize Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industries available know-how and capabilities for improving its own defence industry’s existing infrastructure, such as in upgrading present facilities of Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT), Karachi Engineering & Shipyards Works (KSEW), Air Weapons Complex (AWC), Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) etc.

 

 

Pakistan Navy

 

Turkish Navy rendered assistance to Pakistan Navy [PN] for establishing submarine service in its early days. Besides frequent exchange of visits at all levels, both the navies are actively collaborating through professional seminars, bilateral ship visits to each other ports, joint naval/SOF team exercises and mutual training assistance. PN sends it cadets and officers to Turkey for training in various courses while Turkish Navy also avails staff course and TACCO’s training with PN besides exchange of ship riders.

PN presently operates two high-speed ONUK MRTP 15 boats for VBSS operations and two ONUK MRTP-33 Fast Attack Crafts (FAC) designed and constructed by Yonca-Onuk JV of Turkey. MRTP 15 fast interceptors were ordered under a €3 Million contract awarded in 2003 and delivered in the second half of 2004. PN ordered two units of ONUK MRTP 33 FACs to Yonca-Onuk JV as a result of a tender open to international competition in 2006. First boat has been delivered in 2007 and second in 2008. PN has also acquired 2 x 25mm and 2 x 12.7mm Stabilized Naval Gun Systems (STOP and STAMP) from Aselsan, Turkey for installation on these boats. These platforms have been successfully integrated into PN Fleet operations. Armed with a 25mm STOP Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System MRTP 33 FACs can be also integrated with 4 Harpoon SSMs. However due to resource constraints procurement of additional boats and modifications to integrate SSM capability to MRTP 33 FACs are pending and will be initiated upon availability of funds.

Also in the late 2000s and early 2010s, the PN had sought to acquire a corvette design from Turkey, but severe economic issues forced the Navy step back from the idea. Acquisition of corvettes is part of PN’s developmental plans and on the same lines various options like; Castle Class from UK, Barroso Class from Brazil and MilGem/ADA Class from Turkey were considered. Due to its superior features ADA Class was eventually chosen and Maritime Technological Complex (MTC), a research organisation of PN, in coordination with Ministry of Defence Production explored possibility of joint venture. However, the project could not achieve much headway due to shortage of funds. Nevertheless, the project has not been shelved and upon visibility of adequate funds it may be re-initiated.

While in Pakistan Turkish MoND also discussed ADA Class corvettes sale to Pakistan with his Pakistani counterpart. During the meeting Pakistan formally requested four ADA Class corvettes. After the meting MoND ISIK announced that Pakistan has request for a US$400 Million loan/line-of-credit to help finance the acquisition and this request was accepted by the Turkish Undersecretariat for the Treasury. He also disclosed that following the completion of validating process technical details would be discussed with related Pakistani authorities. According to Pakistani media four ADA Class corvettes would be built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) in Pakistan over a 10-year period. Constructed under the MilGem (National Vessel) Programme and representing Turkey’s first locally designed, developed and constructed corvette-type combat vessel, ADA Class corvette is a modern littoral combat warship with indigenous capabilities, using extensive stealth technology in her design. As the Turkish Navy’s newest and most advanced vessels the ADA Class corvettes have a mono-hull, displacement-type hull form. Their overall length is 99.5 metres, maximum beam is 14.4m, displacement is 2.3oo tons (2.45o tons with full load) and their range at economic speed is over 3.5oo nautical miles. ADA Class corvettes accommodate a 10-tone helicopter (S-70B SeaHawk) with platform, hangar and extensive service and handling equipment. With their 32MW propulsion power, generated by one gas turbine (LM2500) and two diesel engines (CODAG system configuration), ADA Class corvettes can reach 3o knots.Turkish Navy currently operates two ADA Class corvettes, TCG Heybeliada (F-511) and TCG Buyukada (F-512). Construction of the third and fourth vessels TCG Burgazada (F-513) and TCG Kınalıada (F-514) are continuing at Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command. Provisional acceptances of TCG Burgazada and TCG Kınalıada Corvettes are scheduled to take place in 2o17 and in 2o19 respectively.

On August 19, 2016 Pakistan Navy’s new Fleet Tanker was launched at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). With a displacement of 15,600 tones, double-hull Fleet Tanker, the biggest warship ever built in Pakistan, was constructed under a US$80 Million contract signed between Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production and Turkish firm STM, Main Contractor, on January 22, 2013. This project is the first in the naval vessel construction between two friendly and brotherly countries. The respective design activities have been performed in Turkey and shipbuilding and outfitting activities have been carried out by KS&EW in Pakistan with the kit of material transferred from Turkey. The 155m Fleet Tanker, with RAS/FAS capability and a helicopter landing/take-off capability, would be able to operate independently at sea for up to 3 months. The ship is also equipped with modern medical facilities to support Pakistan Navy Fleet units, both during war and disaster relief operations. Following the on-going Commissioning, Setting to Work efforts and completion of Sea Acceptance Tests [SAT], the Fleet Tanker is scheduled to enter PN inventory in 2017. Aselsan has been selected to provide 25mm STOP Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System and Communication Switching System for PN Fleet Tanker under a €4.7 Million contract awarded by the STM in July 2015.

Speaking at the launching ceremony Undersecretary for Defence Industries Ismail DEMIR, underlined that the construction of the Fleet Tanker has opened the door for future collaboration between Turkey and Pakistan in the field of combat vessel construction, and the improvement of the other defence projects.

In following to Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker Project, STM has recently won a contract for the Mid-Life Upgrade of Pakistan Navy’s three Khalid Class Agosta 90B diesel-electric/AIP attack submarine.  The deal was inked on June 22, 2016 in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi between Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production and STM. As part of the project regarding the modernization of Agosta 90B submarines; STM entered a long, compelling competitive evaluation process with French DCNS Shipyard, which undertook the designing and production operations for the aforementioned submarines. After a tendering process beginning on April 16, 2016 STM was found to be technically and commercially superior during the evaluation process and was selected as the Main Contractor for the Agosta 90B MLU Program. The contract covers the modernization work on one submarine and includes options for two more vessels. The modernization work will be performed at a local shipyard (KS&EW) in Pakistan. The first submarine (PNS Khalid [S-137]) will be delivered in 45 months. The other submarines are estimated to undergo modernization with an interval of one year in-between the upgrade work on each of the three submarines.  

This contract, which value was disclosed as US$350 Million by Turkish MoND Fikri ISIK, marks the first time when a Turkish company was selected as the Main Contractor as part of an international submarine project and exports of submarine designing and engineering services will be initiated for the first time because of it. Under the contract the entire sonar suite, periscope systems, command control systems as well as radar and electronic support systems of the Agosta 90B submarines will be replaced. The existing weapon configuration will be integrated with the updated systems as a part of the project and the systems developed and built by other Turkish companies such as Havelsan and Aselsan will be exported.

Turkish firms Havelsan and TAI can play role in converting PN’s existing ATR-72-500 aircraft into Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) configuration to replace aging Fokker F27 MPAs, acquired in 1982. TAI and Havelsan in cooperation with Alenia Aermacchi/Finmeccanica of Italy are currently converting 6 ‘green’ ATR-72/600 aircraft into Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft (TMPA) configuration under the MELTEM III Program. The ATR-72/600 TMPA will be a highly effective, middle size ASW aircraft and to be equipped with AMASCOS-300 mission system incorporating an OceanMaser 400 maritime surveillance radar (with SAR/ISAR/SPOT-SAR/STRIP-SAR/MMTI capabilities), a DR3000 ESM, four multifunction operator consoles, a TMS-200 Acoustic Processor (for sonobuoys), sonobuoy/marker launcher, an AN/ASQ-508[V] Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) sensor, Link-11/Link-16 data links, VHF/UHF radio sets, LN-100G INS/GPS, an ARS-700 Airborne Interrogator and Guidance System (AIGS), APX-113 IFF, AselFLIR-200T FLIR system and an ASES-235M Self-Protection System comprising AN/AAR-60 MILDS MWS and AN/ALE-47 CMDS as well as AIS and last generation weapon systems like the Mk54 Light Weight Torpedo. According to current schedule first aircraft, currently in Torino/Italy and undergoing certification tests, will be handed over to Turkish Navy in May 2017 and remaining five aircraft in 2018. The PN bought two ATR-72/500 aircraft in 2015 and plans to convert them into MPA with ASW capability.

Havelsan has previously expected to receive a contract from Pakistan for the combat management system (CMS) upgrade of Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates to be transferred from US Navy stocks to PN. Aging CMS on-board Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates were planned to be replaced with indigenously developed GENESIS CMS, currently in use on-board of 8 Gabya Class (ex Oliver Hazard Perry Class) of the Turkish Navy. PN currently operates only one Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigate, PNS Alamgir (F-260) and had originally hoped to acquire up to six retired frigates of this type from the US Navy stocks, but US Congress did not approve the transfer of other vessels.

 

 

Pakistan Air Force

 

On June 10, 2016 Aselsan announced that it had secured a around US$25 Millioncontract with an undisclosed country for the sale of undisclosed number of AselPOD EO/IR Targeting Systems. According to Anatolian News Agency, a state run press agency in Turkey, this undisclosed customer is Pakistan. According to SAVUNMA ve HAVACILIK (S&H, Defence & Aerospace) Magazine of Turkey under the contract starting from 2017 Aselsan will deliver 16 AselPOD Targeting Systems to the PAF and integration efforts will be carried out by PAF (that is why the contract value is lover than the estimated figure) in Pakistan. Aselsan already delivered on AselPOD mock-up to PAF to start integration of the pod on fighter jet. As part of integration efforts PAF will deliver necessary interface for integration to Aselsan and the company would modify this interface [also carry out some software based upgrades] in accordance with AselPOD’s technical features and then returned it back to PAF, also external pylons [hard-points] to be used for the AselPOD integration will be manufactured at PAF facilities. According to S&H Magazine under the international tender AselPOD competed against Damocles of Thales and Sniper XR of Lockheed Martin.

Aselsan already completed design, development, qualification and testing of 4 AselPOD Targeting System prototypes for the TurAF and expected to deliver them soon. Under the Serial Production Phase of the AselPOD Program Aselsan will deliver 16 further pods to TurAF in coming years. TurAF is planning to procure 73 additional AselPOD EO/IR Targeting Systems in batches.

The AselPOD EO/IR Targeting System, with four-axis stabilised gimbal, incorporates a high-resolution, mid-wave 3rd generation (3-5 micron) FLIR (with 640x512 pixels FPA detector), a day-light camera (CCD-TV with 768x576 pixels black & white), a Laser Designator, a Laser Range Finder, a Laser Spot Tracker for tracking targets and for directing LGBs to the target, a Laser Marker Unit for joint operations, and an Inertial Measuring Unit to provide precise target coordination and orientation data. AselPOD will enable pilots to engage their targets even when partly obscured by cloud or countermeasures. The 235kg AselPOD is 235cm in length and 43cm in diameter. According to S&H Magazine AselPOD can detect F-16 aircraft up to 45km and moving ground target like a Main Battle Tank (MBT) up to 15km distance. The TurAF and Aselsan are committed to the AselPOD Program. In the coming years the AselPOD will see various improvements such as two-way data-link, capacity-improved Solid State Type Recorder and HDMI class EO/IR sensors.  AselPOD already integrated, tested on and certified for TurAF F-16C/D Block 40M/50M and Block 50+ as well as on F-4E 2020 Phantom II aircraft.  According to Pakistani media AselPOD EO/IR Targeting System will be integrated on PAF’s JF-17 Thunder fighters.

Prior to AselPOD contract, Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector companies have secured two important contracts from the PAF. On June 29, 2oo9 TAI received a US$75 Million contract from Pakistan MoD for the avionics (MLU) and structural (Falcon STAR, only on 31 of them) modernisation of PAF’s 41 F-16C/D Block 15 aircraft at its facilities in Ankara, Turkey with the US Government permission. Under the Peace Drive II Programme last 4 F-16 Block 15s, were upgraded to Blok 52+ level with the integration of AN/APG-68[V]9 radar, AN/APX-113 AIFF System, JHMCS, Have Quick I/II capable AN/ARC-238 SINCGARS radio sets, Embedded GPS/INS [EGI] and Link-16 Tactical Data Link System. With modernization F-16A/B Blok 15s also gained AN/ALQ-211[V]9 AIDEWS EW Pod and Sniper XR Targeting Pod integration capabilities. Last 4 F-16 Block 15s modernized by TAI under the Peace Drive II Program handed over to PAF in September 2014. Under the Peace Drive II Program TAI also provided classroom and on-the-job training for 72 PAF technicians and upon completion of their trainings, the PAF technicians were also directly participate in the modernization activities at TAI.

Designed, developed and established by Havelsan, Turkey’s leading systems and software company, the Electronic Warfare Test and Training Range (EWT&TR/EHTES) was officially inducted into the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on January 6, 2011. Havelsan had been selected by the PAF to establish an EWT&TR in Pakistan in 2006, and the contract, valued at over US$20 million, was signed in June 2006. Under the turn-key contract, which represents the first export contract for an EWT&TR, Havelsan launched design and development works following the effectivity in May 2007, and had established the EWT&TR for PAF in the first half of 2010. Preliminary Acceptance of the EWT&TR at its temporary site was completed successfully in June 2010 and the guarantee period (22 months) began. The EWT&TR achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on July 26, 2010 and it was transported and re-established at its final destination at the THAL Test Range of PAF in Jhang.

PAF could also utilize Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector companies’ existing capabilities in meeting its land and air based EW, ECM and precision-guided air to ground munitions requirements. PAF could even consider the procurement of HISAR-A or HISAR-O Low and Medium Altitude Air Defence Missile Systems, KORKUT SPAAG and KALKAN 3D Air Defence Early Warning Radar as a possible option to replace its existing aging systems in the near future. Some years ago MİKES, now Aselsan, has offered its Escort Jammer and AN/ALQ-131 ECM Pod Modernization solutions to the PAF.

On the other hand according to Pakistani media Pakistan has been invited by Turkey to participate in TurAF’s National Combat Aircraft [MMU/TF-X] Program. In an interview dated August 21, 2016 at the state-owned television network PTV, Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer HUSSAIN revealed that Turkey had invited Pakistan to participate in the development of its next-generation fighter program, the TFX. Specifically, Turkey had requested that Pakistan assists it on the “integration side” of the Program. Replacing the F-16C/Ds currently in TurAF service (starting from 2025), the T-FX will be a single-seat next generation fighter with stealth features and new generation avionics. The T-FX will escort and provide air protection to TurAF’s F-35A Lighting II fleet after 2025. In order to meet TurAF’s operational requirements properly, the T-FX is expected to be equipped with twin turbofan engines, each generating at least 23,000lb thrust.  

 

 

Pakistan Army

Pakistan Army [PA] is interested in T129 ATAK Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter of TAI. As per Pakistan Army Aviation Command’s official request one of T129 prototypes [tail number P6] has performed high altitude and high temperature flight/endurance tests during May 20-31, 2016 in Pakistan. As part of endurance tests the T129 P6 carried out three high temperature flight tests at Pano Aqil with an average temperature of 50C, and in Pano Agal climbed to 14,000ft altitude in Hindikush. T129 P6 also performed long-range flight during sand storm from Quetta to Multan, which is base to FOB 2 hours and 40 minutes without refuelling. According to Pakistani media no other current attack helicopter has managed these tests so the T129 is the best Pakistan Army has seen.The TAI/AgustaWestland T129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129C Mangusta International platform. The T129 ATAK is currently operated by the Turkish Army and is being offered for export to a number of other countries (such as Bahrain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Tunisia), besides Pakistan. The T129 ATAK had been extensively adapted to suit Turkish Army Aviation Command’s requirements, but climatic and topographical similarities between Pakistan and Turkey and similar mission profile requirements make it ideally suited for Pakistan’s needs. Few years ago Pakistan has interested to procure up to 15 T129 Helicopters, however negotiations for approximately 15 helicopters have stalled due to Pakistan’s poor finances. Regarding the T129 Helicopter sales to Pakistan, Turkish MoND ISIK said, “The deal will further enhance our bilateral cooperation in the defence industry.”

PA has previously procured one PANTER 155mm 52 Cal Towed Howitzer from Turkish armament manufacturer MKEK for operational testing. Panther Howitzer was delivered to Pakistan Army’s School of Artillery at Nowshera in September 2007. But due to shortage of funds plans for the co-production of PANTER howitzers in Pakistan has not been realized and no further order has been placed so far.

As the leading company in the Turkish Defence & Aerospace Sector, Aselsan is also a forerunner in exports, realising the first defence electronics export to Pakistan in 1989. Under the contract, PRC/VRC 4600 series combat area tactical radios were manufactured in the NRTC facilities in Pakistan under an Aselsan licence. In the late 1990s, under a separate contract Aselsan’s PRC/VRC 9600 series frequency hopping radios were produced again in NTRC’s facilities under licence; and Aselsan also realised the first export of PRC/VRC-9661 series software defined radios to Pakistan under a US$204 Million contract awarded on June 30, 2010. The first party radio sets was delivered to Pakistan in 2011. As the Turkey’s leading systems and software company, Havelsan delivered a number of Artillery Forward Observer Training Simulators to the Pakistan Army under a contract awarded in June 2007, and deliveries were completed in December 2008. The Artillery Forward Observer Training Simulator provides forward observers and fire management personnel with the required training to direct artillery firepower in the desired place and time.

Pakistan has previously also expressed its interest in Turkey’s 3rd+ Generation MBT ALTAY. However discussions over the ALTAY MBT apparently did not take place during MoND ISIK’s meeting with his Pakistan counterpart at Pakistani Defence Ministry in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on June 3rd, 2016. According to sources Pakistan Army is seeking lighter, a bit smaller and cheaper version of ALTAY MBT. Considering the climate and terrain conditions in Pakistan, ALTAY MBT with around 63.5 tonne weight and 10.85m length, 3.68m width and 3.32m height do not fit properly the operational requirements of the PA. And even incorporates many superior features it would be an expensive (with an estimated figure of US$13.75 Million unit price) solution for PA. But for its future MBT program Pakistan could procure some of the ALTAY MBT’s subsystems. Otokar, the leading wheeled armoured vehicle manufacturer of Turkey, has been selected as the Main Contractor for the First Phase (Design, Prototypes Manufacture and Qualification) of the ALTAY Program and has submitted its final offer to the SSM on August 29th, 2016 for the Serial Production Phase (covering the mass production of 250 ALTAY MBTs). ALTAY MBT prototypes (PV-1 and PV-2) will enter Turkish Army service in 2017.

 

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