The ATAK Team, comprising Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), Aselsan and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce the successful maiden flight of the first T129 prototype.
The T129 P1 prototype helicopter’s maiden flight was successfully completed by AgustaWestland and TAI test pilots during an official ceremony held at AgustaWestland facilities in Vergiate, Italy.
The ATAK Programme was initiated with the aim to meet the 50 firm and 41 optional Attack/Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter requirement of the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLF) by the integration of high-tech avionic equipment, hardware and software which will be developed locally.The programme, in which the Turkish aviation industry is fully involved in the design, development and production phases, is running on time and on budget.
General Manager of TAI, Muharrem Dortkasli said: “It is a great privilege to be here today to witness the first flight of the T129, which will become the most advanced helicopter in its category, so satisfying the requirements of the Land Forces as well as making it very appealing to the international market. An international market in which the Turkish industry will play a primary role. It has been a long journey for us to come to this point. We are proud of the success the ATAK Team has generated, a success which I am sure will be followed by many others.”
Giuseppe Orsi commented “It gives us great pleasure to celebrate today the first flight of the most modern combat helicopter in the world. This event sets a major milestone in our longstanding partnership with Turkish industry and provides clear evidence of how effective this collaboration has been in jointly developing a state-of-the-art all customer-focused solution designed and brought to life in an extraordinary timely manner. Today the Turkish aviation industry enters a new era at the forefront of rotorcraft technology. We are committed to further expanding such a successful cooperation in the future.”
Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) is the center of technology in design, development, manufacturing and integration of aerospace systems, modernization and after sales support in Turkey. TAI’s modern aircraft facilities are furnished with high technology machinery and equipment that provide extensive manufacturing capabilities. TAI has a total of 3000 highly motivated employees, 1200 of whom are engineers.
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is a major force in commercial and military helicopter markets around the world and offers an unrivalled range of helicopters, training and support solutions to satisfy customer´s mission requirements. AgustaWestland´s main facilities are located in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.