Defence Helicopter

TAI marks Turkish T129 ATAK milestone

18th August 2015 - 14:22 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has formally marked the handover of the first batch of nine T129 ATAK multirole combat helicopters to the Turkish Land Forces and revealed the army is now 'effectively' operating the fleet in operational theatres.

The helicopters were delivered to the army between 2013 and 2014 in basic configuration as part of the early delivery phase of the programme. With qualification testing now complete for this batch, TAI will focus on ramping up full production of the fully-capable version to complete deliveries by 2018. 

No doubt TAI’s marking of this milestone has been timed to coincide with the launch of its T129 ATAK 'Poland Roadshow', which will run between 22 August and 4 September as its campaign to grab the Polish KRUK programme gathers pace. The company is offering the T129 as a candidate for the Polish armed forces' requirement for 32 attack helicopters. 

Airbus Helicopters, Bell and Boeing also have the programme in their sights.

TAI has already signed two MoUs with Polish industry in preparation for the programme; one with Mesko for armaments and sighting systems; and another with WCBKT for ground support equipment.

TAI builds the T129 under licence from AgustaWestland. The tandem, two-seat, twin engine helicopter is specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance purposes, incorporating LHTEC CTS 800-4A engines, new avionics, visionics and weapon systems, a modified airframe, upgraded drive train and new tail rotor. 

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