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TAI Hurkus nears first flight and orders

The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Hurkus turboprop trainer is planned to make its first flight in late June, according to the company, which displayed a mock-up of an armed version at the International Defence Industry Fair in Istanbul.

Speaking at the show, TAI general manager Muharrem Dortkasli said: "In a few weeks, during the meeting of the SSM [undersecretary of defence industries], we are awaiting a first order." The Turkish air force needs an initial 15 aircraft to augment the Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1s that are replacing its Cessna T-37s, but will need more later, he says.

"The first A-model will be a civilian training model. We aim to get EASA certification in less than two years," Dortkasli says. A subsequent B variant is to meet air force pilot training requirements, while the Hurkus C will be optimised for close air support tasks. Both could be delivered within 48 months, he adds.

Strong interest has already been received in the Hurkus B and C from potential customers in the Middle East and Africa, Dortkasli says.

 

Tolga Ozbek

TAI's mock-up of the armed Hurkus C (above) was shown with gun pods, Roketsan Cirit laser-guided missiles and general purpose bombs of between 113kg (250lb) and 226kg. Turkey's land forces have expressed an interest in the type.

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