Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) exhibited the unmanned, electric-powered T629 helicopter for the first time. Daily Sabah reported.
The T629 unmanned helicopter, which has been under development by the Turkish Aviation and Space Industry, was exhibited during a ceremony in which Turkey’s General Directorate of Security also received its first T129 (ATAK) Tactical reconnaissance and attack helicopter.
The unmanned helicopter project has been underway since 2017 by Turkey and the first model was assembled by the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) in 2019. This new project will bring new technologies to the Turkish aerospace sector.
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During the ceremony, no technical details about the T629 unmanned helicopter have been revealed. It was announced previously that the T629 will weigh 6 tonnes. It will also be equipped with 70 mm unguided missiles and L-UMTAS anti-tank missiles.
TAI’s Chairperson, Temel Kotil, said in the ceremony that they are proud to deliver the T129 ATAK helicopter to the General Directorate of Security.
The helicopter delivered to the General Directorate of Security is the new ATAK Phase-2 configuration. While the upgraded version of the attack helicopter is already in the inventory of Land Forces Command. The T129 ATAK helicopter is equipped with laser and radar warning systems.
According to Kotil, the engine power of the new T129 ATAK helicopter is not impaired due to temperature or altitude, due to which it is the best performing helicopter at high altitude.
Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) Chairperson Ismail Demir said, “Electronic Warfare (EW) and countermeasure capabilities reached their maximum level with the Phase-2 configuration.”
The Head of General Directorate of Security, Mehmet Aktas said, “with the increase in the number and quality of our aircraft that we add to our inventory, we gain more effective and rapid action not only in the fight against terrorism but also in all kinds of police operational activities, especially against narcotic crimes, organized crime organizations, in combating human trafficking and establishing traffic order.”
“Within the scope of the ATAK project, which is a very important milestone in the establishment of the helicopter industry infrastructure in our country, much national equipment, and weapon systems are produced domestically.” He added.
Turkey’s Future projects:
Temel Kotil also talked about the TAI’s other ongoing projects which include ATAK-2, Hurjet, and TF-X National Combat Aircraft. He said ATAK-2 will make its first flight in 2023 and the Hurjet, an advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft are due at the end of 2022.
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The TF-X aircraft is planned to take off in 2023 and will be kept operational in inventory until 2070. The aim of the TF-X program is to replace the aging F-16 fleet of the Turkish Air Force. The new aircraft is set to combine the best of a stealth air-superiority fighter with additional ground attack capabilities.
The new 5th-generation fighter jet will also be equipped with an impressive array of sensors, cutting-edge radar, networked drone control, and hypersonic missile capacity.
The new Turkish unmanned T629 helicopter helps the defense industry to introduce new technologies in the aviation domain. This will also mature the Turkish helicopter manufacturing experience.