The U.S. State Department has approved export licenses to Turkey for the sale of its homegrown T129 Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter (ATAK), powered by two LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines. It’s powered by Each engine can produce 1,014 kilowatts of output power. The T800-4A is an export version of the CTS800 engine. LHTEC, the maker of the engine, is a joint venture between the American firm Honeywell and the British company Rolls-Royce. Foreign companies are obligated to obtain export permits for U.S. military-grade commercial sales.
Washington had issued the required paperwork regarding the sale of an initially designated number of six attack helicopters. The Philippines will acquire the T129 helicopters and that six units would be purchased initially. Subsequently, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Turkey and the Philippines for the sale of the choppers, which until now had not been realized due to the export license barrier. The Philippine Air Force had chosen the ATAK T129, adding that their budget could afford eight to 10 units.
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 ATAK programme was begun to meet the Turkish Armed Forces’ requirements for an attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter.
Optimized for heavy weapon loads and challenging “hot temperature-high altitude” missions, T129 ATAK Helicopter has been developed by national means and capabilities to meet the Turkish Ared Forces’ attack helicopter needs, and the delivered helicopters effectively perform missions during the operations of the Turkish Armed Forces with high maneuverability and performance in night and day conditions. The T129 is armed with a 20 mm gatling gun and can carry a payload of 8 UMTAS, 12 Roketsan CIRIT, and 2 AIM-92 Stinger missiles.