Turkey Launches New Heavy Attack Helicopter Programme

An impression of the proposed new indigenous ATAK2 heavy attack helicopter which Turkey is now developing. SSB

A NEW heavy attack helicopter programme has been launched to meet the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces.  A contract for its development was signed between Turkey’s Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarliği (SSB – Undersecretariat for Defence Industries) and TUSAŞ (Turkish Aerospace Industries – TAI) on February 22 at the headquarters of the SSB.  The deal for the programme to develop the ATAK2, as it has been designated, was signed by SSB President Dr İsmail Demir, TAI General Manager Temel Kotil and TAI Chairman Oğuz Borat.

The new helicopter will use a combination of elements from the current T129 ATAK and the newly-developed T625 helicopter.  Sub-systems such as the transmission, rotor systems and undercarriage of the T625 will be incorporated into the ATAK2, along with technology from the T129 ATAK.  The new helicopter is intended to have high performance and be extremely manoeuvrable.  It will be equipped with advanced technology target tracking and imaging systems, electronic warfare, navigation, communication and weapon systems.  It will have a high weapon load and all-weather capability with maximum resistance to challenging environmental factors.

The project will maximise the use of domestic systems to ensure ease of supply, reduce foreign dependency and prevent export restrictions that might be imposed on foreign equipment.  It is planned to produce the helicopter with 100% indigenous components and equipment, which can be achieved because it is being designed from scratch, says TAI General Manager Temel Kotil.  The ATAK2 will have a take-off weight approximately twice that of the current ATAK helicopter.  First flight is scheduled to take place in 2024.

It will be in the 10-ton class, with a tandem, two-seat cockpit, be powered by two turboshaft engines and will be capable of carrying a useful load of over 1,200kg.  The ATAK2 will be optimised for operation in hot-and-high conditions and will have a high forward speed.  Advanced electronic warfare and countermeasures systems will be incorporated and armament will include a high-calibre cannon, air-to-air missile systems, new-generation 2.75in rockets and long-range anti-tank missiles.