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.

 Hurkus C model - Tolga Ozbek

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.

Source: Flight International