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T929 ATAK-II Performed Its First Flight Successfully

Türkiye’s first heavy attack helicopter, T929 ATAK-II, which was designed and developed specifically to meet the needs of the Turkish Land and Naval Forces Commands, successfully conducted its first flight test on April 28, 2023, following ground tests. The helicopter was developed under the contract signed between the Defence Industry Agency (SSB) and Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) on February 22, 2019.

Date: Issue 122 - May 2023 Update: February 26, 2024

Under the T929 ATAK-II Heavy-Class Attack Helicopter Project, officially initiated in April 2019, the production of the first prototype (P0) began in the summer of 2022, and the final assembly activities were completed in February 2023. The P0 prototype took off from TAI's production facility in Ankara, Kahramankazan, at 15:16 on Friday, April 28, and completed its flight after being in the air for 10 minutes. The indigenous and national T929 ATAK-II P0 prototype, developed with domestic capabilities, operated all its systems as expected and successfully completed its first flight test. Following the completion of assembly activities, ground tests began for the T929 P0. On March 1, 2023, it successfully passed the First Power-On Test. It also successfully completed the first engine run test on April 23, 2023, with both engines being tested separately. After approximately 15 hours of ground engine run tests, it met the runway for taxi tests on April 28 and took to the skies for the first time. Emphasizing that they conducted approximately 11.5 hours of tests according to the pre-flight test plan, TUSAŞ Chief Test Pilot Arif ATEŞ shared his thoughts on the helicopter's performance: "We maintained stability at an altitude of approximately 10-15 feet. Hovering is the most challenging because all controls need to work in harmony. We hovered quite stably at 15 feet, remarkably without vibrations. Contrary to its size and weight, the flight was very smooth. We decided that we could further increase the controls and flight profile. We flew left and right, back and forth. Honestly, once we took off, we didn't want to land..."

After the first flight, flight tests will continue throughout the year with the T929 P0 prototype. In this context, it has been announced that in the advanced stage of the flight test program, the flight envelope will first be expanded, followed by the integration of weapons and missiles. The T929 ATAK-II will continue its verification activities and have two separate variants for the Land Forces and Naval Forces. The Naval Forces version must have a 'navalized' body, engine, and transmission (meaning reinforced against corrosive effects such as high humidity and salt in the marine environment). In fact, the helicopter's tail section and rotors also need to be foldable for easy transportation and to occupy less space on the ship's deck. TUSAŞ President & CEO Prof. Dr. Temel KOTİL announced that three T929 ATAK-II helicopters will be delivered to the Turkish Land Forces in 2025, and then two helicopters will be produced every month, making Türkiye one of the three countries in the world producing helicopters in this class.