Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has planned to deliver the Hürkuş-C close air support (CAS) aircraft to the country's Armed Forces (TSK) in 2017.
The Hürkuş-C will also be equipped with a tactical data-link system, electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) system, self-protection system, and an armour reinforced airframe, Quwa reported Wednesday.
The Hürkuş-C is the weaponized variant of the Hürkuş turboprop-powered training platform, which first flew in August 2013.
TAI is positioning the Hürkuş as a replacement for legacy basic jet trainers such as the Cessna T-37 Tweet.
The Hürkuş’ civilian version, Hürkuş-A, also achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in July 2016.
Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Işık and the Undersecretary of Defence Industries (SSM) Ismail Demir visited TAI to oversee the manufacturing of a Hürkuş-C prototype.
With a payload of 1,500 kg across seven external hardpoints, the Hürkuş-C will be armed with Roketsan’s UMTAS anti-tank guided missile and Cirit 70 mm laser-guided rocket system.
On the grounds of lower operating costs in comparison to the F-16, the TSK will reportedly deploy the Hürkuş-C as part of its counterinsurgency (COIN) efforts. TAI may also market the Hürkuş-C to prospective overseas customers, placing it in direct competition with Embraer and its EMB-314 Super Tucano.