Keeping Up With The Joneses …ATAK

TAI T129 ATAK helicopter.(Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony/U.S. Air Force)

SHAH ALAM: Keeping up with the Joneses…as the delivery dates for the MD Helicopters MD-530G light scout attack helicopter remained up in the air, the Philippines is set to take delivery of six TAI T129 ATAK attack helicopters next month.

The delivery of the ATAK has been subject to intense speculation after the US refused to grant export licenses for another deal involving 30 of the same helicopters to Pakistan. However it appears that the Philippines deal had gone through and the Turkish attack helicopters are set to be delivered.

Turkish Aerospace T129 ATAK helicopter. Wikipedia

The ATAK deal is worth US$269 million (RM1.1 billion) announced in July, last year, was a government to government deal unlike the LSAH deal signed in 2016 was a commercial contract.
Stub wing mounted weapons for the ATAK T129 attack helicopter. Wikipedia

From the Philippines News Agency:

MANILA – The first batch of the six Turkish-made T129 “ATAK” attack helicopters will arrive in December, Philippine Air Force (PAF) commander Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes said Tuesday night.
“Deadly…coming this December. The T129 Attack Helicopter of the Philippine Air Force,” Paredes said in a Facebook post.
He did not give other details on the arrival of the helicopters.
The six T129 attack helicopters will be acquired for a total contract price of USD269,388,862 (about PHP12.9 billion) from the Turkish Aerospace Industries through a government-to-government mode of procurement under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The T129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform and is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract for the acquisition of the Turkish attack helicopters in July last year.
The PAF is looking to acquire dedicated but affordable attack helicopters to beef up its fleet of lightly-armed helicopters, such as the MG-520 and AW-109E, which are being used for counter-terror and ground support missions.

The 20mm cannon of the ATAK. Wikipedia

It must be noted that the Philippines also received two Bell AH-1 attack helicopters from Jordan, in 2019. Both helicopters are now operational.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. So do you think its better to get 3 high capability/capacity multirole attack helicopter or 6 medium capability/capacity light armed reconnaissance helicopter?

  2. Pidot, is it better getting 10 M-4s or 3 HMGs? How does one even answer that? Depends on the context doesn’t it.

    In the case of the Philippines it faces a non state threat and experiences at Marawi led to a stronger need for a gunship.

  3. @Pidot
    It’s based on what threats that we’ll face in the future. Both types are required for our services. We also need adequate numbers let’s say 12 choppers per squadron. Unfortunately, money is not available. Maybe in 5 to 15 years the dream of an attack helicopter squadron will be come true.

  4. Slightly more than one year from order, very fast indeed or rushing things up in case to avoid more US restriction? 😅 Good for Turkey and the Philippines.
    Those MD530G pre-delivery inspections seem never-ending. Till last Friday, some can still be track flying.

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