TAI Hürkuş

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The TAI Hürkuş (Free Bird) is a tandem two-seat, low-wing, single-engine, turboprop aircraft being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) as a new basic trainer and ground attack aircraft for the Turkish Armed Forces.

The aircraft is named after Vecihi Hürkuş, a World War I and Turkish Independence War veteran pilot, a Turkish aviation pioneer and the first Turkish airplane manufacturer.

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • Hürkuş-A: Basic version which has been certified with EASA according to CS-23 requirements. It is intended for the civilian market. In 2016, the Hürkuş-A trainer aircraft was awarded a CS-23 Validation Type Certificate by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and an Aircraft Type Certificate by the Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  • Hürkuş-B: Advanced version with integrated avionics (including HUD, MFDs, and Mission Computer). Cockpit avionics layout is similar to F-16 and F-35 fighters. The Turkish Army has an order for 15 aircraft plus an option for 40 more. Deliveries are scheduled for mid 2017.
  • Hürkuş-C: An armed version for the close air support role in addition to pilot training missions, will have a maximum weapons load of 3,300lb (1,500kg) and also carry a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor. It will be capable of operating from unprepared runways. The Turkish Army has expressed interest in using the aircraft in counter-terrorism environments and is expected to attract export orders. The main advantage will be to lower the cost of air power, especially in low-intensity combat theatres where anti-air warfare threats are minimal. In February 2017, photos were released by the Turkish MoD, showing the Hürkuş-C prototype carrying Roketsan UMTAS anti-tank guided missiles, Roketsan Cirit laser-guided rockets, an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) pod (likely the Aselsan Common Aperture Targeting System or CATS), and external fuel tanks.
    • Hürkuş-C UAS: An unmanned version of the Hurkus-C Counter-Insurgency Aircraft being developed for the Turkish Armed Forces.
  • Coast Guard variant: TAI plans to offer another version of the Hürkuş to support the Turkish Coast Guard's maritime patrol operations. The aircraft's rear seat would be occupied by an operator for a FLIR sensor using an ASELSAN FLIR system.
  • Hürkuş-2: Newly developed model for the Turkish Air Force.

Users[edit | edit source]

  • Chad
    • Chadian Air Force
  • Libya
    • Libyan Air Force
  • Niger
    • Niger Air Force
  • Turkey
    • Turkish Air Force
    • Turkish Coast Guard
    • Turkish Land Forces

See Also[edit | edit source]