ATAK team outlines progress of Turkey’s T129 project, after first flight success
By Luca Peruzzi
Programme officials from the ATAK development team have provided further details of Turkey’s T129 attack helicopter programme, as its first prototype has completed its debut flight.
Conducted at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility in Italy on 28 September, the milestone event involved aircraft P1, the first of five prototypes to be produced under the Turkish Aerospace Industries-led programme.
Powered by LHTEC T800A-4 engines, the aircraft is one of three T129s to be built in a basic configuration, with the others to enter final assembly at Vergiate in March and July 2010, respectively.
Kits for the programme’s two so-called Turkey Unique Configuration prototypes will be delivered to TAI in April and August 2010. These production-standard airframes will undergo assembly, integration, test and trials in Turkey.
Critical design reviews for both aircraft versions will be concluded in the second quarter of next year, and all five prototypes should fly by mid-2011. “The joint programme is on time, cost and scheduled programme achievements,” says AgustaWestland chief executive Giuseppe Orsi.
Turkey has ordered 50 production T129s and has options on another 41. The aircraft will be equipped with Turkish-made systems including electronics, forward-looking infrared sensor, cockpit avionics and mission computer from Aselsan, and weapon systems from Roketsan.
TAI general director Muharrem Dortkasli says the first T129 ATAK will be handed over to the Turkish armed forces in the third quarter of 2013. Turkey will be responsible for international marketing and sales of the design, and industry sources say several countries are already evaluating the product, including Jordan and Pakistan.
” The helicopter program is seen as one of the flagship projects for Turkey’s flourishing defense industry, as it will involve not only the transfer of advanced technology, but also the integration of various domestically developed weapons and communications systems. Moreover, since Turkey’s TAI will have the exclusive rights to market and sell the final product worldwide, the project is particularly attractive for Turkey. Through this and other ambitious national weapons programs, it aims to emerge as a major player in the global arms industry.Pakistan, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan have reportedly expressed their interest in purchasing the T-129 (Anadolu Ajansi, September 25). “
My photoshop Image for you guys depicting our Next generation Attack Helicopter Inshallah in Pakistan colors and this Image is dedicated to my Turkish Brother Cabatli 53 for his Great help and dedication.