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 2 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

DC Aviation Al-Futtaim adds fifth aircraft to managed fleet

Dubai-based DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF) has added a Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft to its fleet.

Etihad Airways wins Best International Airline at travel awards

Etihad Airways has won Best International Airline Award at the annual Condé Nast Traveller India Readers' Travel Awards 2016.

Falcon Aviation opens FBO at Dubai South

Abu Dhabi's Falcon Aviation is to open its first FBO at Al Maktoum International (DWC), Dubai South and is looking to make its mark with a three-pronged project strategy aimed at positioning it as the VVIP service leader.

Pakistan International Airlines commences twice weekly flights from Salalah

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has commenced twice weekly direct flights to Lahore from Salalah , Oman.

Etihad Airways wins for 'Top Operational Excellence' award from Airbus

Airbus has presented Etihad Airways with the award for 'Top Operational Excellence' for A380 operations in 2015-2016.

EgyptAir receives the IATA Platinum Award

EgyptAir has received the IATA Platinum Award at the 204th board of governors meeting held recently in Montreal.

TAA SK 12MTHS16
See us at
World_Space_Congress_BT21JN23N16_Arabian_AerospaceAIME2017 BT 2579217Aviation Africa 2017 BT 23F17MRO2017_BT1089217