Turkey's undersecretariat of defence industries held talks with executives from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) on 11 October to kick off the nation's planned indigenous helicopter programme.
Envisaged as a 5t utility aircraft, able to carry nine passengers and three crew, the helicopter is designed to replace the Turkish army's fleet of Bell Helicopter UH-1Hs. Other government departments such as the police and health ministry are also interested in acquiring the new model.
TAI is talking to both Sikorsky and AgustaWestland to acquire Western technologies for the programme.
The first example is likely to make its maiden sortie within five years, and TAI is targeting EASA certification in 2020. Entry into service for the military variant is scheduled for 2022.