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First Turkish-built T129 takes flight

17th August 2011 - 15:55 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The first Turkish-built prototype T129 attack helicopter has made its first flight.

The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)-built helicopter completed its maiden flight on 17 August from the TAI facilities at Akinci AB near the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The aircraft, known as P6, is the first of three T129 prototypes to be assembled in Turkey.

The company said the flight of the P6 prototype marks an important milestone in the ATAK Program and that it shows 'the level of technology achieved by Turkish Aerospace Industries'.

The T129 is a derivative of the AW129 Mangusta attack helicopter developed by Agusta in the 1980s. The aircraft has been adapted to meet the needs of the Turkish Land Forces Command's (TLFC) ATAK programme to deliver an attack/tactical reconnaissance helicopter.

The TLFC will begin to receive the 51 T129 helicopters it has ordered from 2013, with the aircraft jointly produced in Turkey by TAI and AgustaWestland. Aselsan is providing the electronics, forward-looking infrared sensor, cockpit avionics and mission computer, and Roketsan the weapons system.

Nine early AgustaWestland-built, supplemental A129 aircraft, without the Turkish systems, are due to be delivered in 2012 to meet 'near-term operational needs'.

The first T129 prototype was built in Italy and flew in September 2009.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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