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Turkey-Pakistan defence industry deals peak in last two years

February 26, 2020 at 2:19 pm

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shakes hand with Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan (R) in Islamabad, Pakistan on 14 February 2020 [Murat Kula/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has been boosting its military cooperation with Pakistan over the last two years, Turkish officials said.

Pakistan and NATO member, Turkey, want to enhance bilateral defence cooperation, said the general manager of STM, Murat Ikinci, a leading Turkish defence firm operating under the country’s Defence Ministry.

“The Pakistan-Turkey Military Consultative Group was established in 1988 aiming to strengthen military relations between the two countries. However, as ties improved, the scope of cooperation expanded and took on a new name, the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC). Now, both countries see this forum that guides bilateral relations in defence industry and back it.”

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Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan co-chaired the sixth session of the Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council and signed 13 memorandums of understanding (MOU), five of them related to the defence industry.

In addition, on Tuesday, a Turkish official lauded an agreement between Pakistan and Turkey on the sale of four corvettes to Pakistan as part of Turkey’s National Ship (MILGEM) project, initiated in 2000 to locally design and build a fleet of multipurpose corvettes and frigates that will replace older ships, according to Anadolu.

“Pakistan’s possession of four MILGEM corvettes will change the balance in the region and will carry the country to the position of a playmaker,” Esad Akgun, director general of Military Factory and Shipyard Management Inc. (ASFAT), told the Anadolu Agency.

Most notably, in 2018, Pakistan purchased 30 Turkish-made T-129 attack helicopters at a cost of $1.5 billion and the Pakistan Navy commissioned a 17,000-tonne fleet tanker built in collaboration with a Turkish defence company in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi.