... Meanwhile the SSM plans to make the final selection for the $4 billion, 145 third generation attack helicopter project on Feb. 17. There are rumors, however, that the selection may be delayed until the end of this month. There is further speculation that the SSM Executive Board, charged with making the final decision, may announce another short list rather than selecting one company in order to stir up the competition further. The stronger candidates are said to be the two competing U.S. companies and Kamov from Russia.
The five shortlisted competitors are, Boeing's AH-64D Apache Long Bow (United States); Bell-Textron's AH-IZ King Cobra (United States); Agusta's A129-I (Italy), Eurocopter's Tiger (France); and Kamov's KA-50/52 (Russia). Israel's IAI is competing in cooperation with Russia, providing subsystems. The first delivery of helicopters is due in 2002, followed by an additional 50 and then a final delivery of 45 more. The value of the initial 50 helicopters are expected to amount to $2 billion. In a related development Turkish General Staff will hold its regular meeting late this month to re-evaluate the procurement projects as well as the financial resources available for future schemes. The devastating earthquake of Aug. 17 did not prevent the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) from going ahead with its major procurement schemes, since these require priority (Turkish Daily News, Lale Sariibrahimoglu).
Turkey will decide on whether to prefer a European Company, as an EU-candidate country, or the US, who supports her in the international arena (Feb. 7)
Ankara cornered in a 4-billion-dollar helicopter tender between the US and Europe. In the 145 attack helicopters production programme, American Boeign's Apache Longbow and Bell-Textron's King Cobra, German-French consorsium Eurocopter's Tiger, Ka-50/2, to be produced by the cooperation of Russian Kamov and Israel, and Italian Agusta's Mangusta A-129A type helicopters are competing. The evaluation in the Defence Industry Undersecretariat has already been completed. Now the Prime Minister, the General Staff and the Defence Minister will come together before the meeting of the the executive committe. It is generally expected that the Turkish Government will announce one of the US bidder, AH-64D or AH-1Z, as the winner and Israeli-Russian Ka-50-2T Erdogan as the second team. The meeting is expected to be held on February, 17th.
In knowledge we trust!