On November 30, the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan conducted a trilateral meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, during which Pakistanâ€™s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif proposed for joint defence production between the three countries.
Recalling that Azerbaijan will procure Super Mushshak trainers from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), the Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov agreed with Asif, stating, â€œWe can set-up joint projects to produce defence products and develop cooperation in this field in a trilateral manner.â€
Turkeyâ€™s Foreign Minister, MevlÃ¼t Ã‡avuÅŸoÄŸlu, reiterated his colleaguesâ€™ sentiments, saying, â€œWe are not competing with each other in this field [defence], but we are complementing each other.â€
Finalizing the contractual details for 10 Super Mushshak trainers from PAC in September, Azerbaijan and Pakistan inked the contract during the trilateral foreign ministers meeting.
Launched in 2002, the PAC Super Mushshak is an upgraded version of the Mushshak, a licensed produced copy of the Saab MFI-17 Supporter. The Super Mushshak is powered by a 260 hp Lycoming IO 540-V4A5 piston engine, Hartzell two-blade propeller and improved avionics (Garmin 950 or Dynon SkyView Classic).
PAC took over the role as manufacturer of the platform when MalmÃ¶ Flygindustri ceased producing and supporting the platform. Turkey is also among the Super Mushshakâ€™s customers, with 52 aircraft on order.
Besides training, PAC is also configuring the Super Mushshak with an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret and guided air-to-surface weapons. Ostensibly for counterinsurgency (COIN) missions, it is unclear if the armed Super Mushshak is for live combat or training.
Pakistan and Azerbaijan are among Turkeyâ€™s realizable markets for its defence items, including big-ticket systems such as the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 ATAK attack helicopters.
In each of those markets, there are opportunities for the sale of wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles, artillery, helicopters, fixed-wing combat aircraft, electronics (e.g. sensors) and munitions.
Azerbaijan and Pakistan, being the smaller defence industry players of the three countries, will likely look to limit their hard currency outflows and increase support for their respective defence suppliers by linking to the supply channels supporting the Turkish Armed Forces. This could potentially be had by Islamabad and Baku partnering with Ankara in the latterâ€™s development programs.
Pakistan is also eager to sell JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters to Azerbaijan. PAC is configuring the Aselsan ASELPOD targeting pod to the JF-17, the completion of which will provide the JF-17 with precision-strike and reconnaissance capabilities. This, along with potentially other Turkish subsystems and air-to-surface weapons, could make their way to Azerbaijan should Baku select the JF-17