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Turkish armed forces to receive 118 T129 Atak helicopters


According to a tweet posted by DefenceHubLive, as part of the Atak Program, a total of 91 T129 Atak Helicopters will be delivered to the Turkish Land Forces (59 are confirmed and 32 are optional) and 27 will be delivered to the Ministry of Interior (24 are confirmed and 3 are optional). Let's notice that 30 Atak helicopters have already been purchased for the Pakistan Air Force and 6 for the Philippine Air Force.

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Turkish armed forces to receive 118 T129 Atak helicopters 1 TAI/AgustaWestland T129 Atak (Picture source: Twitter account of DefenceHubLive)


The TAI/AgustaWestland T129 Atak is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform. The T129 was developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with partner AgustaWestland. The helicopter is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions.

The Atak programme was begun to meet the Turkish Armed Forces' requirements for an attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter. The T129 is the result of the integration of Turkish-developed avionics, airframe modifications, and weapon systems onto the AgustaWestland A129 airframe, with upgraded engines, transmission and rotor blades. It is in use by the Turkish Army, and is being offered to other services. The T129 Atak is also used by the Turkish Gendarmerie (Ministry of Interior).

In May 2014, the Turkish Army formally inducted the first nine T129s into service; these initial rotorcraft were to a less advanced interim EDH A-model variant, intended to replace some of the aging Bell AH-1 Cobras in use prior to the introduction of the more capable T129B variant to service. On 25 April 2015, a pair of T129s were used in combat for the first time in an operation in Turkey's Siirt Province. Delivery of the final EDH-standard T129s took place on 31 July 2015.

Vatiants

T129A EDH (Erken Duhul Helikopteri, or Early Delivery Helicopter): T129A is the "combat support" version equipped with a 20 mm Gatling gun and rounds and can carry 70 mm (2.75 in) rockets. The T129As are to be upgraded to the T129B standard.

T129B is the "multi-role" version equipped with leading-edge electronic warfare systems. It is armed with a 20 mm Gatling gun and can carry a payload of 8 UMTAS, 12 Roketsan Cirit, and 2 AIM-92 Stinger missiles.


Turkish armed forces to receive 118 T129 Atak helicopters 2 TAI/AgustaWestland T129 Atak (Picture source: Twitter account of DefenceHubLive)


Turkish armed forces to receive 118 T129 Atak helicopters 3 TAI/AgustaWestland T129 Atak (Picture source: Twitter account of DefenceHubLive)