Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has been impressing the aerospace industry with its portfolio of military aircraft. The manufacturer controlled by the Turkish government not only develops advanced projects but does it at the same time, something that not even the United States has achieved.
TAI has in its portfolio a 5th gen fighter, called TF-X (the official designation should be revealed on May 1st), a light attack and training fighter that has just completed its maiden flight (Hürjet) and a heavy attack helicopter, of the Boeing Apache and Mil Mi-28 class.
It is precisely this helicopter that caused astonishment a few days ago when it flew for the first time. The T929 ATAK 2 prototype was still unheard of a week ago. On April 24, TAI released the first images of the aircraft testing inside a hangar.
On Friday, April 28, Turkey’s defense agency released a video of the maiden flight of a technology demonstrator, a helicopter still incomplete but equipped with the necessary (engines, systems, transmission shaft and avionics).
Although a cannon and sensors appear installed, they are only models, according to local media.
İstanbul’daki TEKNOFEST coşkusuna Ankara’dan müjdeli bir selam ile katılıyoruz 👋
Ağır Sınıf Taarruz Helikopterimiz ATAK-2 ilk kez havalandı.@TUSAS_TR ve katkıda bulunan tüm paydaşlarımızı tebrik ediyoruz. 👏 🚁 pic.twitter.com/DIVSsEWxgZ
— Ismail Demir (@IsmailDemirSSB) April 28, 2023
Entry in service in 2025
The ATAK 2 is an attack helicopter genuinely developed in Turkey based on a government application released in 2019. Weighing around 10 tons, the aircraft uses two TV3-117VMA-SBM1V-01T engines produced by the Ukrainian company Motor Sich.
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They are derived from a Russian Klimov engine, but considered more efficient and durable.
The T929 will be equipped with a 30 mm cannon and will be able to carry around 1,500 kg of armament on 6 underwing pylons.
Among the planned armaments are 70 mm unguided and guided missiles, anti-tank and even air-to-air missiles.
The Turkish Army should receive the first serial helicopters as early as 2025 and, given the rapid advance of the TAI, this does not seem impossible.