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, the prime minister said.
The agreement includes options that analysts say could result in billions of dollars of additional orders over the next three decades.
The 109 helicopters, a version of Sikorsky's popular Black Hawk, will be assembled in Turkey. 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 would work with Turkey to market the international version of the Black Hawk in other countries, leveraging 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.
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