Shahid Khaqan Abbasi becomes Pakistan's first PM to fly military helicopter

Published October 23, 2017
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi poses before the test flight of the Turkish T-129 Combat Helicopter. —Online
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi poses before the test flight of the Turkish T-129 Combat Helicopter. —Online
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inspects the Turkish combat helicopter. —Online
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inspects the Turkish combat helicopter. —Online

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday took the Turkish attack helicopter T-129 for a test flight, becoming the first Pakistani premier to fly a military helicopter, Radio Pakistan reported.

After talking to Pakistani and Turkish media following the test-flight of T-129 helicopter, Abbasi said Turkey's defence production industry was one of the best in the world and second to none.

The premier appreciated the Turkish aircraft and termed it an impressive and good machine.

Abbasi talking to media after the test flight of Turkish T-129 helicopter. —Online
Abbasi talking to media after the test flight of Turkish T-129 helicopter. —Online

He lauded the Turkish aviation industry as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for such achievements in the defence production.

Answering a question about Pakistan's plan of purchasing T-129 helicopters, Abbasi said, our army is evaluating the helicopter, and we are negotiating the contract and terms.

The prime minister also inspected the helicopter, where he was briefed by the Turkish aviation officials about the specifications and technical parameters of the combat chopper.

The chief executive officer of Turkish Aerospace Industries, Temel Kotil, said that T-129 was a light-weight attack helicopter equipped with missiles and guns.

He said Pakistan and Turkey have strong defence ties and collaborating in the defence production area as well.

Know more: Did you know? PM Abbasi used to be a total daredevil

Earlier in September, the prime minister had participated in an exercise training mission aboard an F-16 aircraft as part of the elite No 9 multirole squadron.

In full flying gear, PM Abbasi sat in the rear cockpit of the fighter jet.

It was during a visit to the newly established ‘Airpower Centre of Excellence’ at an operational airbase of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Sargodha when the prime minister took part in the mission.

Chief of the Air Staff Sohail Aman, sitting in another F-16 aircraft, had also participated in the training mission.

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