Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) delivered the preliminary prototype of Turkey’s unmanned and electric version of the T629 helicopter was displayed for the first time. The T629 attack helicopter demonstrator, which has been under development by the TAI, was exhibited during a ceremony in which Turkey’s General Directorate of Security also received its first T129 Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter (ATAK). It is expected to make its debut soon – this will bring new technologies to the Turkish aerospace sector. The T629 is intended to be used as a platform for search and rescue, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare, and to support Turkey’s existing manned T129 ATAK helicopter.
The T629 attack helicopter project has been underway since 2017, and the TAI began assembling the first flight model of the chopper in 2019. Although there were no technical details given during the ceremony, it was announced previously that the T629 will weigh 6 tonnes and be equipped with 70 mm unguided missiles and L-UMTAS anti-tank missiles. Similar in silhouette to the two-seat ATAK model, which is also manufactured by government-owned TAI T129 ATAK Helicopter. TAI has not disclosed any details about the new aircraft’s electric propulsion system or other technology used for the prototype.
The TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform. The T129 was developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with partner AgustaWestland. The helicopter is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions. The country is using the aircraft domestically and offering the aircraft for export with the locally-produced TS1400 engines to get around U.S. weapons embargoes pertaining to the original LHTEC CTS800-4N engine developed by Rolls-Royce and Honeywell.