The Turkish air force will begin replacing its Cessna T-37 jet trainers with Korea Aerospace Industries' KT-1 next month, with the new type now undergoing flight testing.

Ankara is to receive 40 KT-1s under a deal signed in June 2007, with the first five to be completed by KAI. The remainder will be produced under licence at Turkish Aerospace Industries' Akinci facility.

A first batch of three South Korean-built aircraft are being flight-tested by TAI, and should be delivered in late November, the company says.

 KT-1T, ©Turkish Aerospace Industries

KT-1T, ©Turkish Aerospace Industries

Both images © Turkish Aerospace Industries

Turkey's undersecretary of defence industries procurement agency is in talks with KAI to remove an option for a further 15 KT-1s from the programme.

Meanwhile, TAI will roll out its first flight test example of Turkey's indigenous "Hurkus" basic trainer in January. The turboprop-powered aircraft should make its flight debut late in 2011.

Source: Flight International