ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey has chosen the AW119T helicopter built by Italian firm Leonardo to train pilots, a government procurement official has told Defense News.

Turkish Land Forces Command will use the 15 helicopters purchased under the contract, the official said June 1, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to talk to the media.

The source did not reveal the contract price.

The AW119T is the Turkish version of Leonardo’s AW119M. The helicopter features a digital avionics suite that shows critical flight information on two large, multifunction displays, enhancing situational awareness and reducing pilot workload.

To enhance pilot safety, it also features a synthetic vision system that depicts a so-called highway in the sky, a moving map and a helicopter terrain avoidance warning system.

The 2.85-ton AW119T has a crew capacity of no more than two, and can carry up to an additional seven passengers. Its maximum range is 922 kilometers (573 miles) and its maximum cruise speed is 243 kph (151 mph).

Turkish Aerospace Industries, which builds the T129 attack helicopters under license from the Italian-British company AgustaWestland, is also a supplier of fuselage for Leonardo’s AW139 helicopters.

Burak Ege Bekdil is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News. He has written for Hurriyet Daily News, and worked as Ankara bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Middle East Quarterly and Gatestone Institute.

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