Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will soon export its domestically developed Hürkuş-C armed close air support and training aircraft to a yet undisclosed country. This was disclosed by TAI General Manager Temel Kotil to private broadcaster CNN Türk. A total of 12 aircraft will be sold but the contract has not been signed yet. 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 counter-insurgency aircraft for the Turkish Armed Forces. The aircraft is named after Vecihi Hürkuş, a Turkish aviation pioneer and the first Turkish airplane manufacturer.
The Hürkuş aircraft family was designed by TAI to support different missions in the country’s training programs. The light attack and armed reconnaissance variant of the Hürkuş-C offers a low-cost, flexible solution against asymmetric threats, a common reality in today’s battlefields. In addition to training pilots, the low-cost, high precision Hürkuş-C was developed to perform in light attack and armed reconnaissance missions. While maintaining the advanced training capabilities of Hürkuş, with its seven external load stations, Hürkuş-C offers users a large payload capacity of up to 1,500 kilograms (3,306 pounds) to perform challenging missions.
External load capacities of the aircraft include external fuel tanks, electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) pod, general-purpose bombs and homegrown ammunition, like Roketsan’s long-range anti-tank missile, Umtaş, and laser-guided Cirit missiles and KGK-SIHA-82 useful load that was developed by the Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE) under the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK). It will also feature two 12.7 mm and 20 mm gun systems, a 2.75-inch rocket assortment, or training bombs. On 7 April 2017, a Hürkuş-C fired a Roketsan L-UMTAS anti-tank missile that successfully hit the target on the ground.