Temel Kotil, general manager of TEI's sister company Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI, said the industry pledged to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to develop and build the first 100 percent of Turkish helicopter engines quicker than that.
Separately, TEI also is developing a 170-horsepower engine to power the Anka, Turkey's first indigenous drone. The planned engine, cheap and light, according to Aksit, could be used in both the Anka and its armed version. The engine will allow the Anka to fly at a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet.
In January, TAI completed the construction of the first prototype of what will become the country's first indigenous helicopter.
The twin-engine light helicopter will have dual civilian and military use. It will have two pilot seats and carry 12 passengers.
The indigenous helicopter, the T-625, showcased at the IDEF exhibition in Istanbul from May 9-12, will replace the ageing UH-1Hs in the Turkish military's inventory.
The future versions of the T-625 will include ambulance and search-and-rescue models. The T-625s also will be used to train pilots.
TAI officials say the T-625 will go through its first field tests in the first half of 2018. Its maiden flight has been scheduled for Sept. 6, 2018. The next step in the program is to obtain international certification for the platform.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.