US sanctions are holding back Turkish defense industry, jeopardizing dozens of Ankara’s military programs, both for joining the Turkish Armed Forces and for export to third countries.
Ankara’s heavy reliance on American know-how, materials and authorizations for the construction of flight and missile systems as well as warships, threatens the much-touted Turkish defense industry with collapse.
One of the first victims of the sanctions seems to be the program to build 100 T-70 helicopters, which are copies of the American Black Hawk and are made in Turkey after the relevant licenses have been granted. By imposing sanctions, Turkey will not be able to complete the program, nor will it be able to export helicopters to other countries.
“This program is the first to be affected because the process for its implementation includes the issuance of licenses by American companies that produce parts for helicopters, to Turkish companies. “With the ban, this program will stop and be suspended”, says Faidon Karaiosifidis, Aeronaut – Director of “Flight” magazine
The ambitious plan to upgrade the Turkish F-16 with modern radar manufactured by the Turkish company Aseslan seems to be a thing of the past. Ankara claims that this radar will be much higher than that of the upgraded Greek F-16s, but without American help and know-how, this plan is going to fail.
Both for aircraft and surface ships. You realize that it is an important measure. “Because most of the weapons systems carried by ships, submarines, and carriers made in Turkey are of American origin,” said Stelios Fenekos, Admiral EA.
The export of the ADA corvette, which carries mainly American weapons and electronic systems, is also in doubt. Ankara planned to sell 4 corvettes to Pakistan but their export falls on a wall after US sanctions.
At the moment, with this ban, there is essentially a universal abolition of Turkey’s ability to export products that incorporate American technology, notes Mr. Karaiosifidis.
The same fate befell the Turkish T-129 helicopter, which was equipped with American engines. The United States has blocked the export of 50 helicopters to Pakistan, with Turkey looking for new customers in the international market. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.
The sanctions threaten the viability of the Turkish defense industry as a whole, as not only is the US Export Bank lending and lending suspended, but the United States is expected to demand the same attitude from other international financial institutions.
“Because they are imposed on the Turkish military industry and at the same time prohibit the transmission of American technology and funding through banks, in addition to the visa ban on individuals, it is a fact that they can affect important activities in Turkey,” Fenekos said.
At the same time, if Turkey does not change its stance, the imposition of new, even stricter sanctions that will affect the Turkish Armed Forces is not ruled out.
Turkey could also be punished by restricting its access to US technology, US weapons, US training, US cooperation, says Karaiosifidis
This development, however, brings Turkey one step closer to the final expulsion from the F-35 aircraft program, while without American help, the development of a Turkish 5th generation fighter looks like a science fiction scenario.
TURKISH WEAPONS AT RISK FROM SANCTIONS
-F-16 AESA type radar
-T-70 helicopters manufactured under American license
– Corvette ADA can not be exported to Pakistan
-T-129 helicopter export ban
1. F16 upgrade with AESA radar (equivalent to the Greek VIPER). Turkey is importing components and know-how to develop its own radar for F-16 fighters. There is a danger that the supply of materials and plans to the Turkish Defense Industry will stop.
2. S-70 helicopters. Turkey had obtained permission to build the American S-70 helicopter, named T-70. This venture is in jeopardy if the US revokes the relevant licenses.
3. ADA Corvette. Great dependence on American material. The corvette is made in Turkey and will be sold in Pakistan. Maybe the Americans are blocking exports.
4. T-129 helicopter. Made in Turkey with Italian hull and American engines. In the past, Turkey wanted to sell 50 helicopters to Pakistan and the US blocked its engine exports. Today, Turkey is looking for engines in the international market in order to be able to export helicopters.