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 6 months 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

Etihad's "biggest investment" in Alitalia is going ahead

Etihad has confirmed it has reached agreement with AlItalia to buy 49% of the troubled airline.

New $5bn Shariah leasing fund for Airbus aircraft in the Gulf

Quantum Investment Bank and Palma Capital - both based in the Dubai International Financial Centre - have been retained as the exclusive placement agents for the launch of a shariah compliant aircraft leasing fund (ALIF) to be managed by

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner gets FAA, EASA certification

Boeing's 787-9 Dreamliner - ordered by both Etihad Airways and Saudia -has been certified by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial service.

Blow for Airbus and Rolls-Royce as Emirates cancels A350XWB order

Emirates Airline has cancelled its order for 70 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. The decision follows on-going discussions between the airline and the European manufacturer as part of a fleet requirement review.

IATA AGM: Boeing to benefit if US sanctions lifted on Iran

By MARTIN RIVERS / DOHA: Iran Air would place orders for either the Boeing 777 or the 787 Dreamliner if US sanctions were lifted permanently, chairman Farhad Parvaresh has told Arabian Aerospace.

Afriqiyah shelves Libyan merger amid upsurge in violence

By MARTIN RIVERS / DOHA: Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines have suspended plans for a merger as the two flag carriers' home market struggles to contain a simmering civil war.

ARINC
See us at
Offshore & Onshore Aviation 2014Future Air TransportHelishow 2014Saudi Airport Forum & Expo 2014AVIATION AFRICA 2015First Saudi International Civil Aviation ExhibitioMEBA 2014Aviation Outlook Middle East 2014