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Turkey wants to produce advanced fighter jets and missiles with Pakistan

Turkey desires to produce advanced fighter aircraft and missile systems with its brother Islamic country Pakistan. The collaboration between the two countries likely paves the way for Turkey to access Chinese war technology as well. 

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Turkish defense and government officials have held meetings with their Pakistani counterparts regarding developing and manufacturing military hardware together. The Nation reported. 

According to Bloomberg, the high-level meeting was held between Turkish and Pakistani counterparts in January on the development of the next-generation weapon systems. “The people did not say when they will meet again or how close they are to an agreement.” 

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The new agreement would get NATO-member Turkey closer to some of the Chinese military technology. Pakistan builds its main fighter jet JF-17 Thunder with China and is expected to adopt Chinese designs for its Shaheen ballistic missile systems. 

Pakistan as a nuclear power country is an important strategic ally of Turkey and a potential partner in building TF-X fighter and Siper long-range missile defense system. Turkish officials familiar with the matter spoke to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity. 

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Chinese Foreign Ministry said about the restrictions imposed on weapons imports that the Chinese government “has always adopted a prudent and responsible attitude in the export of military products and strictly implements China’s military export management laws and regulations as well as its international duties.” 

Defense Secretary of Pakistan Muhammad Hilal Hussain met with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in recent times and discussed the defense industry corporation. Akar has also met with the military chief and air force chief and accompanied Erdogan on a visit to Pakistan.

Turkey exhibits unmanned attack helicopter for the first time 

Pakistan and Turkey, defense corporation:

Ankara and Islamabad are already engaged with each other on different defense projects. 

In February, the joint military exercise code-named ‘ATATURK-XI’ between Pakistani and Turkish special forces was held at SSG Headquarter in Tarbela, Pakistan. 

Pakistan has ordered four Jinnah-class MILGEM corvettes to Turkey. Two ships will be manufactured in Turkey while two ships will be built by the Pakistan Navy through a transfer of technology. 

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The MILGEM project is a Turkish warship program that aims to develop advanced multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed in a range of missions including reconnaissance, early warning, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, and amphibious operations. 

Pakistan has also ordered 30 ATAK helicopters to Ankara. The total cost of the agreement is $1.5 billion. The ATAK helicopter is a modern twin-engine, multi-role, all-weather, optimized for attack, armed reconnaissance, precision strike, and deep strike missions. It is packed with an American 800-4A LHTEC’s (Light helicopter Turbine Engine Company) engine. 

Turkey is also working on its indigenous 5th-generation aircraft, the TF-X program. On the other hand, Pakistan is also aiming to produce its next-generation fighter jet through project AZM. Both the countries are also interested to cooperate with each other in fielding their next-generation fighter jets. 

According to Bloomberg, Turkey signed the S-40p deal with Russia two years after it scrapped plans to buy a Chinese missile defense system, under pressure from the US, Ankara is now negotiating a purchase of a second S-400 system, and a co-production deal with Moscow. 

Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the SSB said, “Turkey will confidently take steps towards its target of having a fully independent defense industry with its determination to design, develop, and produce local and national systems.” 

Analysis:

Turkey wants a close corporation with a nuclear-armed Pakistan in their key future defense projects. This will help them to put their hands on Chinese technology because Pakistan is a close ally of China. 

Turkey is aiming to develop a fully independent defense industry by taking core initiatives that will surely help them to achieve their goal.

Sources:

  1. Bloomberg
  2. The Nation