Chad selects TAI Hürkuş trainer-light attack aircraft

Chad buy Turkish Hurkus aircraft
TAI Hürkuş trainer and light attack aircraft.

Chad will shortly become the second African user for Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Hürkuş basic trainer aircraft, the manufacturer confirmed at the Farnborough International Airshow 2022.

The deal – which will make Chad the second operator of the type in Africa, after Niger – was revealed by Temel Kotil, CEO of TAI, during an interview with CNN Türk. He said the platform would be used in its training role and noted that it would also provide the Chadian military with a light attack capability. “This aircraft is used for training and war preparation. Some of the same training we perform with the F-16 is also possible. Additionally, we can equip it with missiles,” Kotil said.

He went on to explain that there would be additional Hürkuş sales to Niger in the future, adding that the first batch of pilots are currently being trained and that the first aircraft will be delivered before the end of this year. Earlier this year, Libya reportedly ordered an unspecified number of Hürkuş-C basic trainer/light attack aircraft, but that deal was not addressed by Kotil when he was discussing the sales to Niger and Chad.

The Hürkuş was developed by TAI as a part of the Turkish Primary and Basic Trainer Program to accommodate a variety of mission scenarios. The tandem two-seat, low-wing, single-engine turboprop trainer aircraft is a new generation advanced training and light attack aircraft that will be used at all training levels between basic training and fighter jet conversion as well as perform close air support duties in difficult operations, according to TAI.

The armed version of the aircraft can carry eight Cirit missiles, two 12.7mm machine guns, and Roketsan’s long-range air-to-surface anti-tank UMTAS missile. Efforts are underway to enable Hürkuş to utilize the precision and winged guidance kits developed by TÜBTAK/SAGE, as well as the laser-guided missile Mızrak from Roketsan.

Written by Darren Bondi

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