TAI’s chief executive expects at least eight different aircraft types will roll off its production line in the next five years, a move that could turn the Turkish aircraft manufacturer into an international player.
Along with its ongoing T129 attack helicopter programme, TAI has several development programmes in the works, including its Anka unmanned air vehicle, T625 intermediate twin-engined helicopter and Hürkuş trainer.
More recently, TAI has unveiled its advanced trainer and light attack concept, the Hurjet, and plans to make a decision early next year on the engine for its indigenous fifth-generation aircraft, TF-X. TAI is also working on the ATAK 2, a heavier variant of its T129, as well as a 10t general purpose helicopter.
“This will be enough income to turn us into a global player,” TAI chief executive Temel Kotil told FlightGlobal at the Dubai air show on 12 November.
Although TAI has solid ambitions in the commercial market with the T625, Kotil says he is very busy with the company’s defence focus. TAI had explored a joint venture with Sierra Nevada to build a jet for the US Air Force’s T-X trainer recapitalisation, but the two companies did not submit for the tender, Kotil says. That has not swayed the company from trying to beef up its global presence, as its slew of new defence aircraft appears to indicate.
The Hurjet trainer programme, began in 2010 and is based on TAI’s Hürkuş, is already inching towards production, with first flight slated for 2022. TAI has not yet decided on a single or twin engine for the supersonic jet, Kotil says.
TAI’s other fast-track defence programme is a heavier attack helicopter, larger than the T129, that will leverage the engine and transmission from the T625 but will have a fresh airframe design.