According to military sources, US company Sikorsky and the Italian AgustaWestland requested $5 billion for the sale, maintenance and transportation of 109 choppers to Turkey. The prime minister and the chief of General Staff underlined that they were willing to pay no more than $3.5 billion for the order during a Defense Industry Implementation Committee (SSİK) meeting. It has been decided to continue talks with the American and Italian companies.
Prime Minister Erdoğan, Gen. Koşaner and Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül met during the SSİK meeting on Dec. 15. One of the decisions taken was to start a project for Turkey’s first entirely domestically produced fighter jet. It was also expected that the SSİK would reach a conclusion regarding Turkey’s tender for the purchase of 109 helicopters. The US-based Sikorsky and the Italian AgustaWestland were the bidding companies, both with a bid of approximately $5 billion. Prime Minister Erdoğan and Gen. Koşaner both underlined that they are unwilling to accept the $5 billion offer.
Military sources noted that Gen. Koşaner’s preference was the Sikorsky choppers that are currently in use by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Erdoğan preferred the Italian company as it would provide technology transfers.