The United States has blocked the delivery of 30 Turkish-made ATAK helicopters to Pakistan, according to a statement by a spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan.
The move was taken as a tactic of pressure to prohibit Turkey from buying Russia’s S-400 missile system, Ibrahim Kalin said, adding that the tender was likely to go to China.
“The United States has blocked sales of our proposed ATAK helicopters in Pakistan. This will most likely result in the auction being questioned by China and the loser is the United States”
Kalin announced that Turkey had bought Russian S-400s because America refused to supply the Patriot air defense systems to Ankara on favorable terms.
Pakistan and Turkey signed a deal in 2018 to supply 30 ATAK helicopters. At nearly $ 1.5 billion, the deal is the largest one-time defense deal in Turkish history.
A move by Congress to block US arms supplies to Turkey to force them to withdraw from the S-400 deal with Russia has postponed the deal because the ATAK helicopters use 800-4A engines from US company LHTEC.
In retaliation, Turkey announced it would develop its own helicopter engine and decided to continue buying the S-400 from Russia.