Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) rolled out the first T70 medium utility helicopter, the Turkish variant of the S-70i Black Hawk, last month.
The T70 helicopter is being developed under the $3.5 billion Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP). The multi-role helicopter is based on the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter developed by Sikorsky Aircraft, now part of American defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
Under the TUHP program, a total of 109 T70 Helicopters will be manufactured and delivered to six different users; namely Turkish Land Forces Command, Turkish Air Forces Command, General Command of Turkish Gendarmerie, Special Forces Command, Turkish National Police and General Directorate of Forestry within 10 years. TAI will customize the T70 helicopter in two configurations, for utility and firefighting.
Turkish Aerospace Industries, also called Türk Havacılık ve Uzay Sanayii A.Ş. (TUSAŞ), will be leading the program as a prime contractor of this program with other subcontractor companies; Sikorsky Aircraft, Aselsan, TEI, and Alp Aviation.
TAI is responsible for manufacturing, final assembly operations, tests and integrated logistic support of all airframe structures and composite rotor blades. In addition to TAI’s work scope, TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI) will build 236 (including spares) GE Aviation T700-TEI-701D turboshaft engines under a license General Electric (GE) for 109 twin-engine T70 helicopters. The first domestically produced T700-TEI-701D engine was delivered to TAI in May this year.
Sikorsky is the main subcontractor to TAI for the program, delivering the technical data, technical training, technical assistance, aftermarket support, and helicopter components in the form of kits to enable TAI to build the T70 helicopter based on the S-70i Black Hawk platform. Aselsan will develop and integrate the avionics and will co-develop with Sikorsky Aircraft an enhanced digital cockpit known as the Integrated Modular Avionics System (IMAS); and Alp Aviation is responsible for production and assembly of landing gears, gearbox, and dynamic components.
The helicopter is scheduled to begin test flights next year.