TAI Hürkuş C Counter-Insurgency Aircraft
TAI Hürkuş C Counter-Insurgency Aircraft

TAI Hürkuş C Counter-Insurgency Aircraft

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. An armed version for the close air support role 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 interests in using the aircraft in counter insurgency environments and it is hoped that it will attract export orders.

TAI Hürkuş C Counter-Insurgency Aircraft
TAI Hürkuş C Counter-Insurgency Aircraft

The main advantage will be to lower the cost 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. The Turkish Armed Forces are scheduled to receive deliveries in 2018. On 7 April 2017, a Hürkuş-C fired a Roketsan L-UMTAS anti-tank missile that successfully hit the target on the ground.

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