Turkish Aerospace Industries general manager Muharrem Dorktasli has announced plans for the company to develop a light-twin helicopter for military and civilian applications.

Revealing the new programme during the IDEF exhibition in Istanbul, TAI said the new design should be capable of carrying between six and eight people. In the military sector it is intended to replace some of the Turkish army’s Bell UH-1 utility helicopters, and also be suitable for use as a training aircraft.

TAI expects to fly the aircraft for the first time within the next six or seven years, with the effort to draw on its experience as prime contractor on two other major programmes.

The company is heading the ATAK project which will deliver T129 attack helicopters to the Turkish army, and will assemble T-70 transports for the nation’s armed services, police, gendarma and forest ministry. The programmes will respectively field developments of the AgustaWestland A129 and Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk.

“With the ATAK and general utility helicopter projects, TAI will have the capacity to design a Turkish helicopter,” Dorktasli said.

Source: FlightGlobal.com