Turkey's indigenous helicopter achieves important milestone

By Goksel Yildirim

ANKARA (AA) – All sub-systems of Turkey's first indigenous helicopter T625 were designed by various Turkish companies within the scope of the Original Helicopter Program, which details the project.

In the development period, 14 sub-systems were produced in Turkey, while they are aiming to locally produce other systems when mass production of the helicopter begins.

Following its maiden flight on Sept. 6 in capital Ankara, Temel Kotil, head of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), said: "With the first flight of the T625 helicopter, the company successfully achieved a very important milestone and once again demonstrated how assertive it is in aviation."

The helicopter's fuselage, rotor system and transmission system has been designed from scratch by TAI, while the patent for sub-system designs are protected by the Turkish Defense Industries (SSB).

Turkey's leading defense company Aselsan contributed to the development with components for avionics and communication system, navigation, structural integrity and tracking system, integration and display system, electronic warfare system, as well as gauge and data record systems.

The prototype of the core engine was completed and the initial ignition was successfully carried out.

The design, development and testing infrastructure for gas turbine engines will be generated in Turkey. The 1,400 shaft-horsepower engine will be developed by TAI and integrated into the helicopter.

In 2013, TAI and the SSB signed a contract for the production of indigenous T625 helicopters.

According to the producer, the new generation, twin engine, 6-ton class helicopter will serve multiple services including cargo, VIP transportation, air ambulance, and off-shore search and rescue operations.

Being designed for both domestic and international markets, the helicopter has a capacity of carrying 14 passengers including two pilots at a time.

"T625 multirole helicopter is designed and optimized to meet and exceed the multi-mission requirements for hot and high geographical environments and for adverse weather conditions," TAI said on its website.

TAI said T625's mass production is expected to begin after 2021.

*Jeyhun Aliyev contributed to this story from Ankara

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