Jan 28 2012 trdefence.com
Head of the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), Mr. Murad Bayar, has announced that the first of the highly anticipated T-129 ATAK helicopters is set to be delivered to Turkish Land Forces in April, government’s semi-official Anatolian News Agency (AA) reported.
T-129 is Turkey’s re-configured and nationalized mid-weight attack helicopter based on the Italian A-129 Mangusta by Agusta-Westland. It features an improved engine that increases both the range and flight ceiling of the helicopter, an indigenous mission computer designed by Turkish electronics powerhouse Aselsan, improved avionics and sensor suites, as well as various foreign and domestic missile systems boosting a newly added air-to-air guided attack capability.
Turkish Armed Forces will receive a total of 4 T-129 attack helicopters in 2012, and 5 in 2013. Rest of the order, totalling 51 gunships in various configurations, will be delievered through 2017.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is the prime contractor of the project and is responsible for the production of airframes and integration of subsystems into the helicopters. Aselsan is the main developer of electronics, mission computer, navigation, communication and sensor systems.
Bayar said that T-129 is technologically among the world’s top attack helicopters, and as a true multirole platform, will serve Turkey’s needs in all theaters of operation.