Turkey close to receiving first interim T129 attack helicopters

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The first of nine interim T129 EDH attack helicopters being acquired under Turkey's ATAK project will enter service in June, with the nation's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) expecting four of the type to be delivered this year.

Derived from AgustaWestland's AW129 by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Aselsan, the T129 EDH was first flown in September 2011. Current activity with two of the aircraft includes test flights and weapon firings involving the design's 20mm cannon and 2.75in (7cm) rockets.

The EDH model, which is being bought to cover an urgent need to replace some of the Turkish army's Bell AH-1 Cobras, will lack the ability to fire other weapons intended for use by the main T129B variant. The other five EDH aircraft are to be delivered in 2013.


© Tolga Ozbek

TAI is continuing to produce and test the T129B, with the first of 51 aircraft to be handed over in July 2013. The remainder will follow by 2018.