Turkey’s self-developed new helicopters in use

Turkey’s dependence on external defence industries is decreasing with developments of its own attack helicopters

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish military announced that they deployed the first locally-made attack helicopters to the country's southeast on May 4 as government aims to slash its dependence on foreign defence industries.

Two T129 ATAK helicopters, which can cruise at 269 kilometers per hour (167 miles per hour) and carry an arsenal of Hellfire missiles and guided rockets, have been sent to the southeastern province of Siirt to back up operations against terror.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey seeks to cooperate with other countries in the defense industry, rather than selling products to them on May 5.

Speaking at the 12th International Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul under the responsibility of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, Erdogan said “Today, we met 54 percent of our defense industry's needs with our own capabilities.”

“There are two Turkish companies which have made their way into a list of the world’s top 100 defense giants," said Erdogan.

Turkey’s Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Fikri Isik has said that Turkey’s top science institute has developed several weapons to decrease dependence on sales from other countries.

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) announced a new bunker buster bomb named the “Penetrator Bomb” (NEB), which is the first concrete penetrator system developed in Turkey, in 2013.

“We design and produce our own guns, and our own cannons with our own engineers,” said Isik, speaking at the inauguration of a technology office in Turkey’s central province of Kayseri.

“TUBITAK has developed a bomb penetrating two leveled, two meters-thick wall. This is a first in the world,” said Isik, referred to the NEB.

NEB is designed to be used against surface and underground targets, and utilises a Multiple Warhead Systems (MWS) technology.

Isik said that Turkey is able to produce its own war ships, missiles and helicopters, and the security codes of the devices are known only by Turkish personnels, which allows protection of the nation’s security.

Emphasising the importance of domestic production, Isik also announced a new warplane designed by Turkish engineers which is due to be completed by 2023.

He didn’t say when the plane will be first presented, only that “Our prime minister will announce soon.” 

The Turkish military introduced the country’s first domestically produced helicopters in June 2014.

TRTWorld and agencies