ISTANBUL Feb 21 Turkey signed a deal worth $3.5
billion on Friday to buy helicopters from United Technologies
Corp's Sikorsky Aircraft unit, finalizing an order
originally agreed upon in 2011, said the prime minister.
The agreement includes options that analysts say could
result in billions of dollars of additional orders over the next
The 109 helicopters will be assembled in Turkey and a
version of Sikorsky's popular Black Hawk. The main contractor is
Turkish Aerospace Industries with components to be supplied by
Sikorsky, Aselsan and other Turkish companies.
Sikorsky said the deal marked the start of an important
partnership with Turkish industry.
"Turkey is such an important market in terms of being a
large customer, and it is also strategically important in terms
of who they are in the world," Sikorsky President Mick Maurer
said in a telephone interview.
He said the agreement would allow Turkish industry to
develop the capability to produce nearly every part of the
helicopter, including a newly designed Turkish cockpit.
Maurer declined to give many details about the new
agreement, but said it would give his company a second source
for many of the helicopter's components.
He said Sikorsky had already agreed with Turkey to market
the Turkish version of the Black Hawk in other markets, helping
Sikorsky benefit from Turkey's existing relationships in those
areas and generating additional orders for Turkish suppliers.
"We're going out arm in arm, as we bring in other sales
outside of Turkey that will be supplied by the new supply
chain," Maurer said.
Sam Mehta, president of Sikorsky's Defense Systems and
Services division, said the deal marked the start of a 30-year
relationship, and included options for a wide range of Turkish
government agencies to buy versions of the helicopter.
It also opened opportunities for servicing and repairing the
helicopters, he said.