The Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) has cleared the national air force’s procurement of an initial batch of Hurkus trainer aircraft from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Expected to be signed in the next few months, the unspecified contract will cover 15 B-model aircraft, FlightGlobal reports.
The aircraft are expected to supplement the 40 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) built KT-1 aircraft, which the air force is introducing as replacements for its ageing Cessna T-37 jet trainer-attack type aircraft.
The Turkish Air Force (TAI) is also considering procurement of a proposed C-model of the aircraft for use during close air support operations, according to the news agency.
Powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 turboprop engine, Hurkus is a two-seat aircraft being developed by TAI to address the Turkish Air Force’s training requirements, as part of a contract signed with the SSM in March 2006.
Developed in three variants, a civilian-targeted Hurkus A, a B-model military trainer and a C-variant for close air support missions, the aircraft is likely to be used for basic pilot training, instrument flying, navigation training, and weapons and formation training missions.
As well as pressurised cockpit and onboard oxygen generating system (OBOGS), the aircraft also features an analogue and digital cockpit with a tandem seat configuration, enabling both a student pilot and instructor to be seated during training exercises.
Having completed its initial test flight in August, the aircraft is now scheduled to undergo a comprehensive flight test programme before securing certification from Turkey’s Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Ministry and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Image: Turkish Air Force will order 15 Hurkus trainer aircraft. Photo: file image.