Turkey is moving ahead with its longstanding requirement for new military heavylift helicopters with the issue of an open invitation to potential bidders to submit proposals.

The army is initially looking for eight helicopters and has given competing companies until 10 February to respond.

The Turkish Army's technical specification outlines a requirement for a 23t (50,000lb)-class maximum take-off weight helicopter, capable of carrying a useful payload of up to 12.7t, with a 10t external load capability.

Boeing plans to propose its improved CH-47SD, while Sikorsky has indicated an intent to compete with the CH-53E. Rostvertol is likely to offer the Mil Mi-26. Russia has supplied Mi-17 medium utility transport helicopters to Turkey's police.

The Turkish army needs a heavylift machine to supplement its Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawks.

Source: Flight International