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Air Warfare

Turkish Aerospace buys Ukrainian engines for Atak

6th July 2021 - 14:51 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Ukrainian engines will power the Turkish T929 attack helicopter. (Photo: IHA)

Ukraine rides to the rescue with engines to power the Turkish T929 Atak attack helicopter.

Ukrainian firm Motor Sich is providing 14 engines to Turkish Aerospace for the T929 Multirole Heavy Combat Helicopter — a heavier (11t) version of the T129 Atak attack helicopter.

Turkish Aerospace did not disclose the value of the deal or the delivery timeframe in announcing the contract on 29 June, but it could solve a particularly thorny problem for the manufacturer.

The Atak programme ran into difficulties because of US sanctions imposed in 2019 after Ankara pushed ahead with procurement of S-400 air defence missile systems from Russia.

The US-made LHTEC CTS800-4A turboshaft engine for Atak, manufactured under a JV between Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, is affected by these sanctions.

Turkey is developing its own turboshaft engine for the T129: the TS1400 from TUSAŞ Engine Industries. This may be a solution but its development is not expected to be completed until 2025. 

US sanctions are also likely to stimulate the development of domestically made engines for the T929 and other Turkish helicopters.

Another option to power the T129 might be an ITAR-free engine such as the Safran Arano 1A, Shephard Defence Insight notes.

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