A pair of Turkish Army T129As during the development phase back in 2012 (Image © Turkish Aerospace Industries)

Turkey flies first 9 T-129 attack helicopters

A pair of Turkish Army T-129As during the development phase back in 2012 (Image ©  Turkish Aerospace Industries)
A pair of Turkish Army T-129As during the development phase back in 2012 (Image © Turkish Aerospace Industries)

The Turkish Land Forces (Türk Kara Kuvvetleri) have officially started flying their new T-129 (ATAK) attack helicopters as of May 2014, although the first nine now being operated are not fully developed yet.

The early development version (so-called EDH or T-129A) lacks the ability to fire anti-tank missiles, but has limited operational capability with its on-board 20 mm gatling gun and rocket pods for 70 mm (2.75 in) projectiles. Partner manufacturing companies Turkish Aerospace Industries and AgustaWestland are slowly getting towards the all-capable T-129B.

The new Turkish attack helicopter is a derivative of AgustaWestland’s own A129 Mangusta, but it has a more powerful engine and will be able to carry up to 12 of the Turkish variant of the Hellfire II anti-tank missile, called the UMTAS, as well as Stinger missiles. It is also said it might operate a Turkish developed Longbow-kind-of-radar.

The TKK is set to have a total of 60 T-129Bs, with the current T-129A being upgraded to B-standard somewhere in the near future.

Source: TAI/TKK