ANKARA, Turkey — A Ukrainian engine will power Turkey’s new Atak II-class T929 helicopter, the head of Turkish Aerospace Industries announced Monday in a TV interview, during which he also identified the price of the future TF-X fighter jet as $100 million per unit.
Temel Kotil said the 11-ton T929, a heavier version of the T129, will be powered by a twin turboshaft 2,500-horsepower engine made in Ukraine. He did not give any further details on the engine, but said the T929 will make its maiden flight in 2023.
The T929 is Turkey’s second homemade helicopter gunship after the T129, which TAI produces under license from the Italian-British company AgustaWestland. It’s expected to be able to carry a 1,500-kilogram payload, and perform combat, reconnaissance, surveillance, close-air support and escort missions. TAI plans to equip it with target-tracking and imaging systems, electronic warfare technology, navigation systems, communication systems, and weapons.
The CEO also said the TF-X, Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet in the making, will make its maiden flight in 2025, with plans for the aircraft to enter the Turkish Air Force’s inventory in 2029. He added that the TF-X will come at a cost of $100 million per unit.
TAI will produce two TF-X aircraft per month, hoping to generate $2.4 billion in annual revenue from its fighter jet program. At present, Kotil said, 1,000 of TAI’s 4,000 engineers are working on the TF-X program.
Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.