Azerbaijan is likely to purchase TAI Hurkus trainer-light combat aircraft

Azerbaijan buy Hurkus Turkey
TAI Hurkus-C light combat aircraft. The type may soon be procured from Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan may soon buy Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Hurkus trainer-light combat aircraft, Turkish sources recently revealed.

Azerbaijan could become the second international customer of the "made in Turkey" aircraft after Niger, which has recently confirmed its intention to order the type. Although Baku has not made any statements on the matter, Turkey has shared details on the possible deal. Ismayil Demir, chief of the Turkey's defense industry, said the Azerbaijani military is showing "great interest" in the aircraft. This declaration comes following the demonstration flights that two Hurkus aircraft carried out in early December in Azerbaijan in the presence of the Azerbaijan Air Force Commander.

It is not currently known whether Baku is interested in the Hurkus-B trainer variant or the Hurkus-C attack variant.

Taking into account the growing tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the "Zangezur corridor" - transport routes connecting the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic to the rest of Azerbaijan via the Syunik region of Armenia - we believe it is plausible that the nation is targeting Hurkus-C.

The Hurkus-C is a two-seat turboprop attack aircraft with six external attachment points capable of carrying up to 1.5 tons of weapons. The armament includes conventional bombs, unguided rockets, suspended containers with 12.7 mm machine guns and 20 mm guns, GBU-12 guided aviation bombs and the new Turkish guided bombs Tubitak SAGE KGK 82 and HGK 3, Roketsan Cirit missiles 70 mm and Roketsan UMTAS anti-tank guided missiles.

Azerbaijan has also previously shown interest in the TAI Hürjet advanced trainer and light combat aircraft, which is expected to make its maiden flight in 2022, as well as in the Leonardo M-346.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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