Turkey's undersecretariat for defence industries and Sikorsky intend to finalise negotiations that will result in a contract award to build T-70i-variant Black Hawk utility helicopters in the country.

The Turkish government selected Sikorsky in 2011 for the licensed manufacture of 109 T-70i helicopters, with the aircraft to be provided for multimission use. Turkish Aerospace Industries will be the prime contractor for the estimated $3.5 billion programme, with this value to be inclusive of work to be performed by Sikorsky and other partners.

Under licence from the US airframer, components such as cabins, cockpits and rotor blades will be manufactured in Turkey, with the aircraft to be assembled by TAI.

The T-70i's avionics suite will be designed by Aselsan, its engines manufactured by TEI under licence to General Electric and its landing gear and transmission manufactured by ALP Aviation.

Meanwhile, Sikorsky has delivered the first of two new VIP-roled S-92 helicopters to the Turkish National Police, with these to join another example flown since 2005 in performing prime ministerial transport tasks. The remaining aircraft will be delivered later this year, the company says.

Source: Flight International