Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has unveiled the prototype of a twin-engine multi-purpose helicopter that will perform its test flight later this year.
The prototype of T625 helicopter, which is made to efficiently endure adverse weather conditions, has been transferred to a facility for the ground tests, Anadolu Agency reported Sunday.
The program schedule is to complete its first flight later this year and begin serial production after 2021.
The multi-purpose helicopter program, which is also known as the Original Helicopter Program and envisioned to meet the needs of the Turkish Air Force and other security institutions, was launched by the Defense Industry Executive Committee in June 2010.
In 2013, TAI and the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries signed a contract for the production of T625 helicopters.
The helicopter will serve multiple services including cargo, VIP transportation, ambulance, and off-shore search and rescue operations. It has a capacity of carrying 14 passengers including two pilots.
“The aircraft incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits for operators,” according to TAI. It is aimed both at the domestic and international markets.
TAI has been growing its helicopter exports. It recently signed a deal with Pakistan to sell 30 ATAK combat helicopters, considered Turkey’s biggest defence export to date.