ISTANBUL — Turkish Aerospace Industries has signed a contract to deliver two Hurkus-C light trainer and combat aircraft to Niger and three to Chad, a senior company official said.
Atilla Dogan, TAI’s deputy general manager, told media that the firm will deliver the aircraft to Niger by the end of the year, and to Chad in the first quarter of 2023.
Company officials contacted by Defense News at the SAHA defense and aerospace exhibition in Istanbul on Wednesday would not reveal the contract value for either deal, citing commercial secrecy. However, industry sources say the price for a single Hurkus-C is about $40 million to $50 million.
The contract with Niger follows the sale of 12 Hurkus-B aircraft to the African nation under a deal signed in 2021. That was TAI’s first export contract for the combat trainer.
The latest deals enhance Hurkus-C’s penetration into the African market. In May, the Libyan Air Force signed an agreement with TAI for the acquisition of the Hurkus-C. No details were given on quantity or delivery timeline.
The Hurkus-C is a tandem two-seat, low-wing, single-engine, turboprop aircraft that can perform close ground support missions. It is able to carry a 1,500-kilogram payload, including Cirit laser-guided missiles, Roketsan’s UMTAS anti-tank guided missiles and Mizrak anti-tank missiles.
The aircraft is also equipped with an advanced forward-looking infrared sensor built by military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense firm, and it has a maximum speed of 574 kph (357 mph).
It has external fuel tanks and can carry Aselsan’s electro-optical/infrared pod, dubbed the Common Aperture Targeting System.
The Hurkus-B is an advanced version of the Hurkus-A, with integrated avionics. The cockpit avionics of the “B” variant have a layout similar to the American F-16 and F-35 fighter jets.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.