Domestic aerospace firm to deliver helicopters, UAVs, training aircraft to military

Published 28.09.2017 19:12
Updated 28.09.2017 19:13
Domestic aerospace firm to deliver helicopters, UAVs, training aircraft to military

Turkish Aerospace Industries, an aviation and defense industry champion leading the country's efforts in aerospace technology, is working around the clock to expand the military's inventory of UAVs, helicopters and training aircraft with more deliveries due by the new year

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will contribute to reinforcing Turkey's military aviation fleet with its deliveries scheduled for the new year. The TAI is the country's main producer of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, unmanned air vehicles (UAV) and space technology.

By the end of the year, the company will increase production and delivery of T129 ATAK advanced attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopters, ANKA unmanned aerial systems and new generation HÜRKUŞ training aircraft, which was contracted to the TAI. The 24th T129 ATAK helicopter will join the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) by September. The first was delivered in 2014.

According to the protocol concluded with TAI, the company will produce 59 ATAK helicopters, all of which are scheduled for delivery by 2018, for the military, and it is expected to deliver 12 ATAK helicopters by the end of 2017. The TSK will have received 36 ATAK helicopters by the end of 2018.

With the delivery of 14 helicopters in the ATAK Project, the configuration of phase 2 will commence. ATAK phase 1 includes a missile warning system, counter-measure systems, infrared countermeasure systems and MXF-484 and 9651 radios. Phase 2 has additional features such as laser warning systems, a radio frequency (RF) mixer, a radar warning receiver and 9681/VUHF radio systems.

ATAK helicopters have so far recorded 12,000 flight hours, and the aim is to develop a homegrown engine and a domestically produced 20mm artillery system.

The T129 ATAK helicopter is a new generation, tandem, two-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attacks and reconnaissance. Developed from the combat-proven AgustaWestland A129CBT, the new aircraft incorporates a new system philosophy with a new engine - LHTEC CTS 800-4A - new avionics, sight systems and weapons, modified airframe, uprated drive train and new tail rotor.

It was the helicopter Ankara selected in 2007 for the TSK, the development and production of which will be assured by the ATAK Team, a joint partnership between TAI and Italian helicopter design and manufacturing firm AgustaWestland.

TAI continues working on 15 HÜRKUŞ-B training aircraft designed and manufactured to meet the basic flight training needs of the Air Force Command.

It was reported that the first aircraft will perform its first flight in December, and that eight HÜRKUŞ-B aircraft will be completed to a large extent by the end of 2017.

The deliveries of HÜRKUŞ-B aircraft will start in June 2018, and the first package of 15 units will be delivered by the end of the year. HÜRKUŞ has the option to produce an additional 40 aircraft.

TAI will also deliver UAVs. Another aircraft will be added to the inventory in December 2017, following the first ANKA-B UAV brought by the company. Thus, the number of ANKA-Bs in the inventory will increase to two. In addition, it was also reported that two additional aircraft have been serving in Elazığ in the Gendarmerie General Command.

ANKA-Bs can carry four missiles, detect a target and execute laser marking due to the camera system located on its nose.

ANKA, an advanced Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class unmanned aerial system, can function in day and night for all-weather reconnaissance, target detection and identification and intelligence missions with its EO/IR and SAR payloads, featuring autonomous flight capability, including automatic takeoff and landing.

It incorporates a heavy-fuel engine and electro-expulsive ice protection system with an advanced ground control station and dual datalink allowing operational security and ease. The system is expandable with a transportable image exploitation station, radio relay, remote video terminal and Satcom.

TAI is the largest defense and aviation industry exporter in the country for the sixth time in a row, according to Turkish Exporters Assembly's (TİM) evaluations for the year 2016.

TAI leads Turkey's efforts in aerospace technology and is ranked among the top-100 global players in aerospace and defense. The company has five areas of operation, including aero-structures, planes, helicopters, UAV's and space systems.

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