Subscribe Free
in Defence

Bahrain Airshow: Turkey's TAI T-129 ATAK attack helicopter makes debut

Posted 16 January 2014 · 1 Comment

Turkey's TAI T-129 ATAK attack helicopter is making its international debut at the Bahrain International Airshow.

This is far from being a coincidence, as the machine is being heavily promoted as a potential replacement for the Royal Bahrain Air Force’s (RBAF) ageing Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters. 

Major Rakan Ateytalla, an instructor pilot on the RBAF Cobra, was clearly taken by the T-129, and compared it favourably with the USMC Bell AH-1Z Super Cobra that he had also been shown over before the show. 

Major Ateytalla praised the T-129’s speed and agility and also highlighted its ability to be started and scrambled very quickly – “in three minutes and with three buttons”. 

He said: “A rapid response capability like that would be particularly useful in a Bahraini context, but it is invaluable whenever troops on the ground need close air support ‘right now’!” 

The T-129 is an extensively modernised and upgraded derivative of the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta, with more powerful LHTEC CTS800-4N engines (from the ill-fated RAH-66 Comanche programme) built under licence by Tussah Engine Industries (TEI) and with indigenous avionics, weapons systems, and self-protection suites. 

Even the helmet-mounted sighting system, based on the Thales Top Owl system, incorporates a locally developed optical head-tracking system and LCD displays instead of CRTs. 

Under the terms of its agreement with AgustaWestland, Turkey has full intellectual property and marketing rights for the T-129 platform, except to Italy and the United Kingdom. 

The Turkish Land Forces have ordered 59 T-129s in total, comprising nine T-129As (lacking the planned advanced anti-tank missiles and ordered under a 2010 urgent operational requirement) and 50 T-129Bs, including three TAI-built prototypes, but excluding the three prototype aircraft built at AgustaWestland’s facilities in Vergiate, Italy. The Turkish Land Forces also have an option on 32 further aircraft. 

The first series production T-129s are now flying and an initial cadre of 14 pilots, three instructor pilots, and 45 technicians, have been trained on the new helicopter. First deliveries to the Turkish Land Forces are expected later this year.

 

 RBAF Major Rakan Ateytalla, flanked by TAI test pilots Gökhan Korkmaztürk (left) and Arif Ates.

 

1 Comment for Bahrain Airshow: Turkey's TAI T-129 ATAK attack helicopter makes debut

Hal-Luke Savas

posted 3 years ago

Heard the improvements turned the ATAK into a new class of attack heli. Well done TAI .. it is also mentioned that ASELSAN's Cirit misslies are to be fitted to Eurocopter.. Cirit suppose to be a cost effective missile compared with others..

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

EBACE: TrueNorth new data link unit to improve fairground communications

Communication between pilots and ATC is set to improve following the introduction today at EBACE by TrueNorth, of a new FANS-1/A over Iridium data link unit (DLU) with voice capabilities.

Nextant Aerospace launches large cabin 604XT programme

Nextant Aerospace has announced the launch of a new cockpit avionics programme in conjunction with Rockwell Collins that will bring Pro Line Fusion to the Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft platform.

FlightSafety International starts Master-level Advanced Training Courses for Dassault Falcon

FlightSafety International has announced the start of new Master-level Advanced Training Courses for the Dassault Falcon 2000EX EASy and 900EX EASy series aircraft.

EBACE: Airbus launches ACJ330neo at European show

Airbus has launched a private jet version of its A330neo at EBACE today. The new VVIP jet combines new-generation engines and aerodynamic and other improvements which the company said will deliver even more comfort, efficiency and true

EBACE: Supercar designer gives new look to Airbus ACJ319neo

Italian exotic car manufacturer Pagani Automobili is moving its design focus to the world of aircraft with a new cabin design for the ACJ319 neo.

Deer Jet to get second 787 DreamJet

Deer Jet is to introduce a second Boeing 787 Dream Jet to its fleet, making it the world's largest operator of the type.

TAA SK 12MTHS16
See us at
6th Annual Mediterranean Business AviationAIME BT1204240118EBACE17 BT0103240517DAS BT1105161117DIAC BT1105121117