US State Department approves sale of military helicopters to Philippines

Washington grants export licenses to Turkey for the sale of T-129 attack helicopters with US engines

US State Department approves sale of military helicopters to Philippines

Vice President for Marketing and Communications Serdar Demir said Washington has executed the necessary documents for the sale of six units of the attack helicopter.

The T-129 is equipped with two LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines, which are manufactured in a joint venture between US firm Honeywell and Britain’s Rolls-Royce. Washington issued the licences despite Congress’ objection to any military deal with Turkey.

However, a Turkish official told MEE on condition of anonymity that the engine export licence did not require congressional approval because it was less than the amount required by law for congressional oversight.

“The licence was issued directly by the State Department,” the official said. “We have also obtained export licences for the engines needed for the T-129 helicopters to be used by the Turkish authorities.”

Under US law, the government must notify Congress of commercially licensed defence products if they involve major defence sales to NATO allies worth $25 million or more.

Pakistan also awarded TAI a $1.5 billion contract to buy 30 T-129 helicopters in 2018, but the company failed to get confirmation from the US Congress for the sale. Turkish officials believe congressional approval for this contract is unlikely due to bilateral political tensions between Turkey and the US.


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