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Turkey’s first locally-made helicopter, the multi-role T625 made its maiden flight in the capital Ankara. The helicopter has been designed and developed by Turkish Aircraft Industries Corporation (TAI) in a project that commenced in 2013.

The aircraft is powered by two CTS800 engines from LHTEC, a joint venture between Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, according to flightglobal.com.

With a maximum take-off weight of 6t, the T625 will be pitched at both the civil and military markets, with European Aviation Safety Agency certification being sought.

The maximum speed of the aircraft is pegged at 306km/h and its range will be 740km.

Several government agencies in Turkey are interested in the helicopter, including the ministry of health, and the forestry and police services.

In addition, the Turkish army plans to replace its 86-strong fleet of Bell UH-1Hs with the new T625s.

“As we promised, the inaugural flight of our T625 helicopter took place on September 6 thanks to the overachievement of Turkish Aerospace Industries,” Turkish Defense Industries (SSB) announced, according to defenseworld.net.

“T625 Multirole Helicopter is designed and optimized to meet and exceed the multi-mission requirements for hot and high geographical environments and for adverse weather conditions,” TAI said in its website.

The indigenous helicopter project was launched in 2013 by TAI and SSB. Turkish Aerospace is targeting certification in 2020, with full production beginning the following year.