TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK
|Manufacturer||Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)|
|Design group||Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) /|
AgustaWestland (Leonardo from 2017)
|First flight||28 September 2009|
|Primary users||Turkish Army|
Gendarmerie General Command
General Directorate of Security (Turkey)
|Developed from||Agusta A129 Mangusta|
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. The T129 is the result of the integration of Turkish-developed avionics, airframe modifications, and weapon systems onto the AgustaWestland A129 airframe, with upgraded engines, transmission and rotor blades. It is in use by the Turkish Army and other services including the Turkish Gendarmerie.
The ATAK programme was begun to meet the Turkish Armed Forces' requirements for an attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter. Turkey announced on 30 March 2007 that it had decided to negotiate with AgustaWestland to co-develop and produce 51 (with 40 options) attack helicopters based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta. It is to be assembled in Turkey by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) as the T129. On 7 September 2007, a $1.2 billion contract was signed.
On 22 June 2008, the agreement between TUSAS Aerospace Industries (TAI) and AgustaWestland formally entered into force. Under the agreement, TAI would develop an indigenous mission computer, avionics, weapons systems, self-protection suites and the helmet-mounting cuing systems. Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI) would manufacture the LHTEC CTS800-4N engines under licence. Under the agreement, Turkey has full marketing and intellectual property rights for the T129 platform; Turkey can export also the platform to third party nations, excluding Italy and the United Kingdom. However, the T129's LHTEC CTS800-4N gives the United States a veto over any prospective export sales and so Turkey developed its own TEI TS1400 powerplant. About 95% of the initial parts of the serial production T129 are manufactured in Turkey.
On 16 July 2007, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Meteksan Savunma Sanayii AŞ and Bilkent University formed a consortium to develop an advanced millimetre wave radar (MILDAR), similar to the Longbow and the IAI/ELTA radars, intended to enter service in 2009. MILDAR was successfully completed development in February 2012.
In 2007, it was reported that one helicopter will be kept by the Turkish Ministry of Defense and used as a test-bed for systems development. The remaining 50 helicopters will be delivered to the Turkish Army. An optional 40 further T129 helicopters will be produced if necessary. These 50 T129s are to be designated T129B. In November 2010, Turkey ordered an additional nine T129 helicopters to increase its total ordered to 60. These T129s were for an urgent Turkish Army operational requirement and was built by TAI for delivery in 2012, one year prior to the delivery of the previously ordered 51 helicopters. These T129s are designated T129A, lacking advanced anti-tank missiles. As a result of delays, the T129As entered service in 2014.
On 28 September 2009, the T129's maiden flight took place when P1 prototype flew at AgustaWestland's facilities in Vergiate, Italy. On 19 March 2010, the first T129 prototype (P1) conducted high altitude hover tests near Verbania, Italy following the completion of several successful test flights. During the hover test, T129 P1 lost its tail rotor at 15,000 feet. Test pilot Cassioli regained enough control to steer away from residential area before crashing; the crew escaped without serious injuries. On 17 August 2011, TAI announced the first successful flight of the T129 prototype "P6", the first of three prototypes to be assembled in Turkey.
In 2013, media reports claimed that the first batch of helicopters delivered to Turkish Army for trials did not meet the requirements of the contract, specifically in terms of "vibration, balance, weight". The T129 was nose-heavy; to resolve this, 137 kg was added to the tail, causing the total weight to exceed the specified requirement. The higher weight may decrease the T129's service ceiling, which is detrimental for operating under hot and high conditions, like those found in Southeastern Anatolia. The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries will adjust the contract in accordance. Experts expect weight reductions as development continues.
On 22 April 2014, TAI formally delivered the first serial production T129 ATAK to the Turkish Land Forces. Total nine T129 ATAK helicopters of the first batch delivered to the Turkish Land Forces after completing qualification testing.
The T129 ATAK is optimized for "hot and high conditions", performance requirements against challenging geographical and environmental conditions in night and day operations. It has several key improvements over the original A129 inline with the requirements of the Turkish Army.
The T129 ATAK helicopter equipped with Hunter Kaska integrated control system specially designed for the helicopter. The system enables the automatic orientation of target detection and weapons systems to the pilot’s line of sight with its high tracking accuracy. The helicopter also equipped with a dedicated electro-optical FLIR system ASELFLIR-300T for multi-purpose missions manufactured by Turkish company Aselsan.
The T129 ATAK helicopter also equipped with advanced electronic warfare and countermeasure systems which increase survival capability in the battlefield. The electronic warfare and countermeasure systems of the helicopter features Radar Warning Receiver System (RIAS), Radar Frequency Mixer System (RFKS) and Laser Receiver System (LIAS) in addition to Warning System (FIS), Countermeasure Firing System (KTAS), IR (Infrared), and Countermeasure System.
The T129 ATAK can be used in the anti-armour, armed reconnaissance, ground attack, escort, asymmetrical, fire support and short range anti-aircraft roles. The T129 ATAK is equipped with a 20 mm three-barrel rotary cannon in a nose turret with 500 ammunitions capacity and up to 76 unguided 70mm rockets for close air support. The helicopter is also equipped with up to 8 UMTAS 160 mm long range anti-tank missiles, 16 CIRIT 70 mm missiles, 8 air launched Stinger short range air-to-air missiles.
The T129 ATAK helicopter features also include high maneuverability, low visibility, sound and radar silhouette, high impact resistance and ballistic tolerance.
In May 2014, the Turkish Army formally inducted the first nine T129s into service; these initial rotorcraft were to a less advanced interim EDH A-model variant, intended to replace some of the ageing AH-1s in use prior to the introduction of the more capable T129B variant to service. On 25 April 2015, a pair of T129s were used in combat for the first time in a counter-terrorism operation in Turkey's Siirt Province. Delivery of the final EDH-standard T129s took place on 31 July 2015.
On 10 February 2018, during the Turkish military operation in Afrin, a T129 of the Turkish Army was shot down by Kurdish YPG anti-aircraft fire in Kırıkhan district of Hatay Province. It was later confirmed by the Turkish Armed Forces and President Erdoğan.
Future and potential operators
In November 2017, it was reported that the Philippines was interested in ordering 23 attack helicopters, such as the T129 or others. In November 2018, it was reported that the Philippines was closer to a decision to procure the T129 ATAK. On 29 November 2018, Chief of Public Affairs Arsenio Andolong of the Philippines' Department of National Defense told Jane's Defence Industry that the T129 was recommended for the Philippine Air Force. On 18 December 2018, the Philippines and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TAI for new T129s for the PAF. A Notice of Award was made in 2019. No orders had been placed as of July 2020 due to problems exporting the T129 with the LHTEC CTS800-4A engine, which is made in the US. The Philippine government still wants to go through with the potential purchase. The PAF reported on 22 May 2021 that some pilots and maintenance crew have been sent to Ankara to be trained by TAI personnel. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the T129 will be in service Q3 2021.
In January 2013, a media report stated that South Korea's attack helicopter competition included the T129 in the final three bidders with the Bell AH-1Z Viper and the Boeing AH-64 Apache. However, the AH-64E Apache was chosen in April 2013. Media reports in February 2013 indicated Azerbaijan had ordered 60 T129 helicopters but it was later denied by TAI.
In 2017, Pakistan and Turkey were in the final stages of an agreement to buy 30 helicopters, according to news reports. On 25 May 2018, it was reported that Pakistan signed an agreement with Turkey to procure 30 T129s. As of August 2018, the manufacturer had not obtained the necessary export permit from the US Department of Defense for the LHTEC T800-4A engine for the T129, and the manufacturer sought a replacement engine to enable Turkey to complete the transaction. In 2021, Turkey is to start to replacing the LHTEC T800 with its indigenous TEI TS1400 powerplant.
In September 2018, Brazil showed interest in acquiring T129 with army officials visiting Turkey. In March 2019, ten Brazilian Army pilots received certificates for completing T129 test flights at Forte Ricardo Kirk, Taubaté.
In an Iraqi TV broadcast, the Iraqi defense minister announced in August 2021 that Iraq will acquire 12 T129 ATAK helicopters.
- T129A EDH (Erken Duhul Helikopteri or Early Delivery Helicopter)
- T129A is the "combat support" version equipped with a 20 mm gatling gun and rounds and can carry 70 mm (2.75 in) rockets; nine T129As have been ordered. Six helicopters have been delivered to the Turkish Army. The T129As are to be upgraded to the T129B standard.
- T129B is the "multi-role" version equipped with the leading edge electronic warfare systems. 51 helicopters are to be produced, with one to be used as a weapons testbed. The T129B is armed with a 20 mm gatling gun and can carry a payload of maximum 8 UMTAS ATGMs, 16 Cirit missiles, 8 air launched Stinger, 76 70 mm (2.75 in) unguided rockets.
- Turkish Land Force - 55 delivered, 48 more ordered (4 phase II)
- Gendarmerie General Command - 7 delivered out of 18 ordered (1 phase II)
- General Directorate of Security (Turkey) - 3 for the Aviation Department (All phase II)
- Pakistan Army Aviation Corps (30 T129Bs on order) However the contract is in jeopardy as the American government has refused to issue export licenses for the engines. Pakistan has given multiple extensions to the sale to find a resolution. As a result, the TEI TS1400, an indigenous Turkish 1400 shp turboshaft helicopter engine, will be used in Pakistani T129s.
- Philippine Air Force (6 on order): Unlike the Pakistani T129 deal, the United States issued export licenses for engines made in the US for the Philippine Air Force.
Specifications (T129 ATAK)
- Crew: 2
- Length: 14.54 m (47 ft 8 in)
- Height: 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in)
- Max takeoff weight: 5,056 kg (11,147 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × LHTEC CTS800-4A turboshaft, 1,014 kW (1,360 hp) each
- Main rotor diameter: 11.9 m (39 ft 1 in)
- Main rotor area: 111.22 m2 (1,197.2 sq ft)
- Maximum speed: 281 km/h (175 mph, 152 kn) ("maximum cruise speed")
- Range: 537 km (334 mi, 290 nmi)
- Ferry range: 1,000 km (620 mi, 540 nmi)
- Endurance: 3 hrs
- Service ceiling: 4,572 m (15,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 13.26 m/s (2,610 ft/min) , vertical climb rate 7.3 m/s
- Guns: 1× M197 20x102 mm (0.787 in) three-barrel rotary cannon (500 rounds)
- Hardpoints: 4 with provisions to carry combinations of:
- Rockets: maximum 4 pods with
- Other: 2 (1×2) Drop tanks: 294 kg each
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
- Bell AH-1 SuperCobra
- Bell AH-1Z Viper
- CAIC Z-10
- Denel Rooivalk
- Eurocopter Tiger
- HAL Light Combat Helicopter
- Kamov Ka-50/Ka-52
- Mil Mi-28
- "T129 ATAK". Turkish Aerospace. Archived from the original on 1 June 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Leonardo S.p.A. (2021). "T129 ATAK: a success story". leonardocompany.com. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
Advanced multi-role combat helicopter based on the Leonardo AW129, developed in Turkey by Turkish Aerospace Industries for the national and international markets. The helicopter business is a model of successful cooperation between Leonardo and the Turkish industries.
- "T129 ATAK" (PDF). Turkish Aerospace. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
- "News Archives". Airforce Technology.
- "T129 ATAK completes first demo flights in Poland". Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- SABAH, DAILY (25 February 2021). "TAI delivers ATAK Phase-2 helicopter to Turkish police forces". Daily Sabah.
- "T129 Attack Helicopter". Army-Technology.com. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.[unreliable source?]
- "Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter Procurement Program" Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Turkey Undersecretariat for Defence Industries
- "Turkey Announces the Start of Contract Negotiations With AgustaWestland for the ATAK Project" Archived 19 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. AgustaWestland, 31 March 2007.
- "Turkey Finally Lands Its Attack Helicopters" Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Defense Industry Daily, 28 March 2012.
- Ozbek, Tolga. "AgustaWestland 129 to be model for Turkish ATAK" Archived 6 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Flight International, 14 September 2007.
- T-129 ATAK page Archived 26 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Turkish Aerospace Industries
- TEI News 2010, p. 7 Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Tusaş Engine Industries, Inc.
- (in Turkish) "ATAK Helikopter Projesi'nde mutlu son". Milliyet, 22 June 2008.
- Ege Bekdil, Burak. "TAI's T129 Export Hopes Hinge on US License." Defense News, 26 July 2015.
- "Yerli ve Milli Helikopter Motorumuz TS1400 hakkında ilk bilgiler". 18 October 2018.
- "Turkish Aerospace to Receive First ATAK-GOKBEY Helo Engine Prototype". www.defenseworld.net.
- Kara Hedef Angajmanı İçin Milimetrik Dalga Radar Teknikleri Geliştirilmesi Projesi Sözleşmesi İmza Töreni Archived 4 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, 16 Temmuz 2007.
- MILDAR (Millimeter Wave Radar) Capabilities[permanent dead link]. meteksansavunma.com.tr
- "MILDAR Projesi Süresinde ve Bütçesi İçinde Başarı ile Tamamlandı". Meteksan. Archived from the original on 15 August 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- Savunma ve Havacılık (Defence and Aerospace) magazine. Issue no: 122. October 2007. pp. 26-28.
- "Turkey Orders Nine More T129 Helicopters For The Land Forces Command" Archived 12 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine. AgustaWestland, 8 November 2010.
- Hoyle, Craig. "Turkey signs for more T129 attack helicopters ". Flight International, 9 November 2010.
- "Seeking Top Role in Turkey". Defense News, 29 November 2010, p. 26.
- "ATAK team flies first T129 prototype" Archived 3 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Flight Global.
- "PICTURE: Turkey's first T129 attack helicopter crashes". Archived from the original on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- ASN Wikibase Occurrence #73522 Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Aviation Safety Network, 21 March 2010.
-  Archived 29 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. TAI press release
- "T-129 not meeting requirements, requirements are changing" Archived 24 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Kokpit.aero, 22 February 2013.
- "TAI marks Turkish T129 ATAK milestone" Archived 19 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Shephardmedia.com, 18 August 2015.
- IDEF 2017: HAVELSAN WILL SHOWCASE SIMULATOR FOR THE TAI T-129 ATAK Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine. quwa.org, 1 May 2017.
- "TAI Displays T129 ATAK Helicopter at BIAS 2014". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "Verification on T-129 and modifications". Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
- "OPTICS, ELECTRO-OPTICS AND LASERS: ASELFLIR-300T". TURKISH DEFENCE INDUSTRY PRODUCT CATALOGUE. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
- Turkey inducts EDH-standard T129 attack helicopters Archived 2 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine - Flightglobal.com, 1 May 2014
- Two Turkish-made T-129 combat helicopters deployed for the first time in operation Archived 30 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine - Airrecognition.com, 4 May 2015.
- Stevenson, Beth. "TAI completes deliveries of first T129 batch to Turkish army." Archived 22 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine Flight International, 17 August 2015.
- Harvey, Benjamin (21 September 2011). "Turkey Asked to Compete in Saudi Helicopter Bid, Sabah Says". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- "Philippines Aims to Procure 23 Attack Helicopters in 2018" Archived 29 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Quwa Defence News & Analysis Group, 23 November 2017.
- Cohen, Michael and James Hardy. "Philippine air chief says Italy will provide attack helicopters" Archived 8 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Jane's Information Group, 20 July 2012.
- "Philippines edges towards T129 procurement" Archived 4 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Jane's 360, 29 November 2018.
- Acar, Cemal (7 December 2018). "#Philippines Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that the Philippines Air Force selected the Turkish-made TAI #T129 ATAK attack helicopter. Lorenza said "they can only get less than 10, maybe eight of that (T129)" according to their budget.pic.twitter.com/aXe7uFuga1".
- "Turkey, Philippines sign MoU for T129 combat helicopter purchase". Archived from the original on 20 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- "Lorenzana: US attack helicopters beyond PH budget | Global News". 12 December 2020. Archived from the original on 12 December 2020.
- "Update: Philippines DND seeks T129 'guarantees' from Turkey". janes.com. 30 August 2020. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020.
- HaberTurk, "Atak in news" Archived 31 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Haberturk, 30 January 2013.
- "Korea-Turkey Procurement Imbalance". 21 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- Song, Sang-ho (17 April 2013). "Seoul to Purchase 36 Apache Helicopters". Korea Herald. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "TAI refutes reports that Azerbaijan ordered 60 T-129 ATAK helicopters" Archived 6 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. APA.az, 4 February 2013.
- "ATAK helicopters deal 90 pct complete, Pakistani minister says". DailySabah. 27 November 2017. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "Manufacturing T 129S Chopper parts: Pakistan seeks $1.5b credit line from Turkey". Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- "Pakistan plans buying $1.5 billion combat attack helicopters from Turkey". Times of Islamabad. 25 November 2017.
- "Turkey, Pakistan close to finalizing ATAK helicopter deal". Archived from the original on 26 April 2018.
- "Archived copy". Defense World. Archived from the original on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "S-400 blowback? Turkey seeks replacement for US-withheld helicopter engines in $1.5bn export deal". 13 August 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
- "T129 Atak helikopteri Brezilya'daki ilk uçuş gösterisini yaptı". www.aa.com.tr. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- Roberto Caiafa (26 March 2019), T129, retrieved 28 March 2019
- "Qatar to buy Turkish attack helicopters". Ahval.
- "Irak'tan Bayraktar TB2, T129 ATAK ve EH Sistemleri Açıklaması". Savunma Sanayi Haberleri (in Turkish). 28 August 2021.
- "Turkey close to receiving first interim T129 attack helicopters" Archived 8 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Flight International, 3 April 2012.
- "World Air Forces 2021". flightglobal.com. p. 31.
- Alemdar, Ahmet (23 February 2021). "Kara Kuvvetleri Komutanlığına 2'inci ATAK Faz-2 helikopteri teslim edildi".
- "Üretilen ATAK helikopteri sayısı 64'e yükseldi". Ensonhaber (in Turkish). Retrieved 22 June 2021.
- @SavunmaSanayii (7 November 2018). "J-1512 ile birlikte bugüne kadar Jandarma Genel Komutanlığımıza dört adet T129 Atak helikopteri teslim ettik" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 28 March 2019 – via Twitter.
- "Teslim atak". Savunmasanayist. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- "https://twitter.com/ismaildemirssb/status/1397162235777146885". Twitter. Retrieved 6 June 2021. External link in
- "TUSAŞ'tan Jandarma'ya ATAK FAZ-II teslimatı" (in Turkish). 10 August 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Turkey sells 30 ATAK helicopters to Pakistan in largest single military export deal". 13 July 2018. Archived from the original on 13 July 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- "Pakistan gives another extension to helicopter deal with Turkey".
- "T129 filosu 54 helikoptere çıktı, kaç ATAK daha verilecek?". kokpit.aero. 5 December 2019. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "US approves Turkey military helicopter sale to Philippines".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "TAI T-129 (ATAK) Dedicated Two-Seat, Twin-Engine Attack Helicopter". Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- "CIRIT 2.75″ LASER GUIDED MISSILE". Roketsan. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
- ASELFLIR-300T Electro-Optical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting System
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to T129 ATAK.|