Turkish aerospace company TAI to develop upgraded version of ATAK Helicopter

Published 23.02.2019 00:06

The Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and Turkey's leading defense company, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), signed a deal for the Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project on Friday.

At SSB headquarters, the signing ceremony was attended by SSB Chairman İsmail Demir and representatives of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), TAI and the defense industry. The deal was signed by İsmail Demir, TAI General Manager Temel Kotil and TAI Chairman Oğuz Borat.

The Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project has been launched to meet TSK's requirements in this field.

The project aims to design and produce an effective and advanced attack helicopter with high maneuverability and performance that is capable of carrying a large useful load, resistant to challenging environmental factors and equipped with state-of-the-art technology target tracking and imaging, electronic warfare, navigation, communications and weapon systems.

The project also aims to maximize the use of domestic systems to ensure supply security and export freedom.

The Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project is expected to play an important role in reducing external dependency in the defense sector, implementing domestic, national and innovative solutions with the fund of knowledge gained in current domestic projects and increasing the effectiveness of the TSK.

The helicopter to be developed will have a takeoff weight approximately twice that of the current ATAK helicopter and will be among the top-class attack helicopters with only two examples in the world. The first test flight of the helicopter is scheduled five years from now.

The technical properties of the helicopter, which will be in the 10-ton class, include two turbo shaft engines. The new helicopter will be able to accommodate over 1,200 kilograms of useful load and will have a tandem cockpit, capable of working in high altitude and high-temperature conditions and be resistant to environmental factors. With advanced electronic warfare and countermeasure systems, the helicopter will be equipped with high-caliber cannon, new generation 2.75-inch rockets, long-range anti-tank missiles with different guidance systems and air-to-air missile systems.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Demir noted that the heavy class attack helicopter will add strength to the TSK and they expect the helicopter to be ready for flight in the prescribed time, like the Gökbey.

"Different versions and advanced models of our helicopters should not lag behind new technologies," Demir said.

Emphasizing that the helicopter will add strength to the TSK, Demir said, "After five years, we expect our helicopter to go on a mission with a much richer inventory than the ammunition and weapon inventory we have today."

TAI Chairman Oğuz Borat noted that the project is aimed at producing helicopters with higher ammunition carrying capacity and higher operational performance and will be designed by Turkish engineers as part of localization studies.

According to Borat, the helicopter will provide mobility not only in Turkey but also in the global market with its new generation duty equipment, increased locality ratio, operational superiority and high capacity. "While no company on an international scale produces helicopters in both light and heavy classes, the designation of this strategic task to us has increased our excitement at TAI," he said.

TAI General Manager Temel Kotil said that the helicopter would be 100 percent local and national because it will be designed from scratch.

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