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Turkish Armed Forces` Medium and Heavy Class Helicopters Requirement

Date: Issue 122 - May 2023 Update: February 28, 2024

Türkiye's extensive and mountainous terrain creates a critical need for airborne troop operations to ensure rapid deployment of forces. As a result, the use of Heavy Lift Helicopters, which are renowned for their high carrying capacity, as well as Utility Helicopters, has become indispensable. The significance of this requirement is further heightened by the fact that counter-terrorism operations have been conducted in mountainous areas with limited accessibility for nearly 40 years. The Turkish Armed Forces faced a shortage prior to the inclusion of CH-47Fs in their inventory during the second half of the 2010s. The CH-47D helicopter from the US Army had to be deployed to rescue a crashed S70A helicopter. Similarly, providing logistical support to forward bases in mountainous areas or outposts with limited ground access proved to be a challenging task. Particularly for heavy transportation requirements for internal security or cross-border operations, materials like artillery had to be dismantled and transported in pieces using S70As. Although the inclusion of 19 Mi-17 helicopters procured from Russia in the Gendarmerie General Command's inventory by the end of 1995 partially mitigated this shortage, the demand for Heavy Lift Helicopters has consistently remained within the Turkish Armed Forces. With the introduction of TCG Anadolu to the Turkish Naval Forces, overseas force deployment becomes a significant aspect to consider. Helicopters will undoubtedly play a critical role in the force deployment operations conducted with TCG Anadolu. The absence of a Utility Helicopter within the Turkish Navy further emphasizes the urgency of this necessity. In surface operations, Heavy Class Helicopters, known for their multi-engines, long-range capabilities, and high carrying capacity, offer more versatility compared to Medium Class Utility Helicopters. Heavy Class Helicopters, which were previously regarded as a requirement only for the Land Forces Command, are now recognized as an essential need for the Naval Forces Command as well.

Heavy Lift Helicopter Procurement Projects