The prestigious Paris Air Show 2023 has been the setting in which Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has presented its latest innovation, the T929 ATAK II. TAI has designed this twin-engine heavy attack helicopter to perform attack, electronic warfare and reconnaissance missions in all weather conditions, both day and night.
The T929 ATAK II is a testament to the industrial experience that TAI has gained through its joint venture with the Italian company Leonardo for the T129 attack helicopter project. The T929 ATAK II is a breakthrough in the heavy attack helicopter sector, developed specifically for the Turkish Land Forces and Turkish Navy requirements to operate from the TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship (LHD).
A unique design feature of the T929 ATAK II is the tandem seating and asymmetrical weapons bay, along with a large ammo capacity and low infrared (IR) signature. The helicopter also features a digital cockpit, ballistic protection, upgraded avionics, and state-of-the-art electronic warfare and countermeasures capabilities.
The helicopter is equipped with a nose-mounted Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) turret with target-tracking capability. Its electronic warfare systems include infrared/ultraviolet missile warning sensors and a tail-mounted Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system designed to jam heat-seeking missiles.
The T929 ATAK II can perform a wide range of tasks, such as air-to-ground combat, air-to-air combat, armed reconnaissance surveillance, and close air support (CAS) operations.
With a crew of 2 people, the T929 ATAK II has a maximum takeoff weight of 10,000 kg. It is powered by two TV3-117 turboshaft engines of 1,864.25 kW (2,500 hp) each. The helicopter’s performance includes a top speed of 318 km/h, a cruising speed of 314 km/h and a service ceiling of 6,096 m.
Armament includes a 30mm cannon, six hard points with a capacity of up to 1,500kg, and provisions for carrying combinations of rockets and missiles. The rocket arsenal includes 70mm unguided rockets such as the MKE FFAR, Hydra 70 and CRV7. In contrast, missile options include UMTAS and L-UMTAS anti-tank missiles, Cirit – 70mm guided missiles for lightly armored or unarmored targets, and several anti-aircraft missile options such as PorSav, Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS), Air-to-Air Mistral (ATAM), Bozdoğan or AIM-9 Sidewinder.
The debut of the T929 ATAK II at the 2023 Paris Air Show is a testament to Turkish Aerospace Industries’ dedication to innovation and development in the aerospace industry.
Alain Henry de Frahan