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Turkey has been reinforcing its Air Force fleet with manned and unmanned systems. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will increase production and delivery of T129 ATAK advanced attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopters, ANKA unmanned aerial systems and new generation HÜRKUŞ training aircraft.

TAI is the country’s main producer of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, unmanned air vehicles (UAV) and space technology

The T129 ATAK helicopter is a new generation, tandem, two-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attacks and reconnaissance. Developed from the combat-proven AgustaWestland A129CBT, the new aircraft incorporates a new system philosophy with a new engine new avionics, sight systems and weapons, modified airframe, uprated drive train and new tail rotor.

The company will produce 59 ATAK helicopters, all of which are scheduled for delivery by 2018, for the military, and it is expected to deliver 12 ATAK helicopters by the end of 2017.

With the delivery of 14 helicopters in the ATAK Project, the configuration of phase 2 will commence. ATAK phase 1 includes a missile warning system, counter-measure systems, infrared countermeasure systems and MXF-484 and 9651 radios. Phase 2 has additional features such as laser warning systems, a radio frequency (RF) mixer, a radar warning receiver and 9681/VUHF radio systems.

ATAK helicopters have so far recorded 12,000 flight hours, and the aim is to develop a homegrown engine and a domestically produced 20mm artillery system.

TAI continues working on 15 HÜRKUŞ-B training aircraft designed and manufactured to meet the basic flight training needs of the Air Force Command.

It was reported that the first aircraft will perform its first flight in December, and that eight HÜRKUŞ-B aircraft will be completed to a large extent by the end of 2017.

TAI will also deliver UAVs. Another aircraft will be added to the inventory in December 2017, following the first ANKA-B UAV brought by the company. ANKA-Bs can carry four missiles, detect a target and execute laser marking due to the camera system located on its nose.

ANKA, an advanced Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class unmanned aerial system, can function in day and night for all-weather reconnaissance, target detection and identification and intelligence missions with its EO/IR and SAR payloads, featuring autonomous flight capability, including automatic takeoff and landing.