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Pakistan May Prefer Chinese Helicopter Instead of T129 Atak and AH-1Z

Pakistan may prefer Chinese Z-10ME attack helicopter instead of Turkish T129 Atak and US AH-1Z Viper choppers. Pakistani official gave the signal of some changes in the procurement process.

According to a statement from a Pakistani high-rank officer, roadmap of country's attack helicopter acquisition process may change. Struggling with budget issues as well as lack of materials, Islamabad signaled that T129 Atak and AH-1Z Viper procurement could be abandoned. In case of failure to meet its delivery commitments of the United States and Turkey, it is possible to return of Chinese production Z-10ME to the agenda. Stating that plaforms are still kept as options, the official also stated that there is no final decision taken about this issue yet.

In January 2016, Islamabad announced that agreement inked with Bell for the acquisition of 12 AH-1Zs. Although it was stated that the first three platforms will be delivered in 2017, the USA has not yet sent any helicopters to Pakistan. No official statement came from either side of the delay. Pakistan needs helicopters that can operate at high altitudes, especially for the India border, due to the inadequacy of the outdated AH-1 Cobra in its inventory.

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