Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is set to export 12 units of its Hürkus-C turbo-prop aircraft meant for armed close-air support and training to an undisclosed country.
TAI General Manager Temel Kotil told CNN Türk on Sunday that a total of 12 Hürkus-C will be sold abroad adding that the contract had not yet been signed.
"We cannot disclose the country because the contract has not been signed yet, but it will take place,” he said in a statement quoted in Turkish media.
Turkish officials are known to have made presentations about the Hürkus-C to Qatari officials. Turkey has off late been aggressive in marketing its defense equipment. Pakistan and Ukraine are its prominent customers in recent years.
Having seven external load stations, Hürkus-C offers a payload capacity of up to 1,500 kilograms (3,306 pounds).
Aircraft weapons include Turkish firm Roketsan’s long-range anti-tank missile, Umtas, and laser-guided Cirit missiles and KGK-SIHA-82 missile. It will also feature two 12.7 mm and 20 mm gun systems, a 2.75-inch rocket assortment, or training bombs.
Propeller-driven close-air support aircraft are suitable for poorly-defended battlefields without air-defense systems. In Afghanistan, Super Tucano close-air support aircraft distinguished themselves as they are able to fly at a lower altitude and stay in the air far longer than jets.
A possible customer could be the Philippines which has been facing insurgency from lightly-armed rebels. It had earlier signed up to buy Turkey’s ATAK helicopter. The deal could not go through due to licensing issues over its Western-sourced engine.