TAI delivers first Nigerian T-129 Atak helicopters
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has confirmed the delivery of the first two of six T-129 ATAK helicopters from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), with the remainder expected to arrive before Q2 2024.
Nigeria and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) announced the deal for six T129 attack helicopters during the Farnborough Air Show in 2022.
The confirmation of the delivery came just a few days after the sighting of the first image of the two NAF T129 helicopters on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). As Shephard reported last week, Nigeria defence minister Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, chief of the air staff for Nigeria, have recently visited Turkey to facilitate the speedy delivery of the T129 Atak helicopters acquired.
Abubakar had reportedly held talks with his Turkish counterpart Yaşar Güler on bilateral and defence cooperation issues. The Nigerian officials visited Turkish defence companies including T129 Atak manufacturer TAI.
The defence minister called for improved synergy between the companies and Nigeria through the transfer of defence technology to Nigeria, according to the Facebook post.
TAI and Leonardo jointly developed the T129 Atak tandem two-seat, twin-engine helicopter. It was designed for attack and reconnaissance missions. Although developed from the Leonardo A129CBT, it incorporated a new engine, avionics, electro-optics, weapons, a modified airframe, an uprated drivetrain and a new tail rotor.
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