Turkey Launches Production Of Military Trainer
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has received an order for 15 Hurkus advanced trainer aircraft from the Turkish Air Force and will enter serial production of the turboprop single in 2017. In the meantime TAI will also get to work on the armed light attack version of the aircraft, and the combined portfolio will be direct competition to Textron/Beech's T-6 family and Embraer's Super Tucano series. As we reported earlier, the prototype of the Hurkus flew in August. It has accumulated 800 hours of test flights. The first aircraft is a basic model but the production model will be tailored to Turkey's needs and might find some customers elsewhere because of its cockpit layout.
Turkey is an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter partner and the Hurkus will feature avionics and controls that will parallel those of the fifth generation fighter. Hurkus can also be configured with an F-16-style cockpit for training pilots for the 270 Vipers the Turks now operate. After that, the armed version will be developed and it will be able to pack 3300 pounds of weapons. A Coast Guard patrol version is also planned.