By S.L. Fuller | January 11, 2017
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has designated its domestically developed light utility helicopter as the TAI T-625, reports said. Initially named “Ozgun,” the new name reportedly represents the helicopter’s 6 metric-ton gross weight, two engines and five main rotor blades.
The TAI T-625 is part of a program kicked-off in 2014 to replace the Turkish Armed Force’s aging fleet of Bell Helicopter UH-1H Hueys. In July 2016, the company started building the first Tai T-625 prototype. Turkish Aerospace Industries hopes to complete a first flight before 2018’s end.
Although TUSAS Engine Industries (TEI) was tapped to build the new helicopter’s engine under license from General Electric, the TAI T-625 is to be powered by the Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) T800. The Honeywell/Rolls-Royce joint program also powers the TAI T-129, which is Turkey’s upgraded variant of the Agusta A129 Mangusta. However, TUSAS Engine Industries is reportedly still in the process of developing a turboshaft engine for the TAI T-625.
Also engaged in the program are Sikorsky as the major subcontractor, Turkish communications and electronics manufacturer Aselan for avionics, and Turkish engineering and manufacturing firm Alp Aviation for production and assembly of landing gear, gearbox and dynamic components.