TR Attack & Utility Helicopter Programs

Zafer

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From the link
"We absolutely are paying attention [to world events] and adjusting, because we could go to war tonight, this weekend,” head of Army Futures Command Gen. James Rainey told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday.

What we need keeps changing day by day.
 

boredaf

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US apparently cancelled their new attack/recon helicopter program in favour of drones and space based surveillance systems:


Shame, I really liked the look of Sikorsky Raider X. This means only new acquisition, I think, will be new Bell V-280 for the US. I wonder if we are also changing our minds about helicopter projects as well.
 

Afif

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"We are learning from the battlefield – especially in Ukraine – that aerial reconnaissance has fundamentally changed," Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Randy George said in a statement accompanying the announcement. "Sensors and weapons mounted on a variety of unmanned systems and in space are more ubiquitous, further reaching, and more inexpensive than ever before. I am confident the Army can deliver for the Joint Force, both in the priority theater and around the globe, by accelerating innovation, procurement and fielding of modern unmanned aircraft systems, including the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, Launched Effects, and commercial small unmanned aircraft systems."





I think it is important to understand what is going on here before we reach any definitive conclusions.

See that, FARA was set to replace OH-58 Kiowa. Both are primarily reconnaissance platforms with limited attack capability. It was supposed to complement AH-64E and increase the tactical ISR capability of the field commanders.

Now, turns out, these type of UAV systems (see below) are more efficient when it comes to increasing tactical ISR capability.

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See, FARA is much more expensive and complex system to manufacture. However, as a very fast & highly maneuverable rotary-wing platform (coupled with its inbuilt countermeasures) it is more survivable than these types of tactical UAV. But, simply not survivable enough to justify its cost and expense. On the other hand, these tactical UAVs are far more cost effective and simpler to built, hence highly attritable.

In essense, US army is trading moderate survivability of limited numbers of expensive FARA, with far higher attritability of large numbers of cost effective future tactical unmanned aircraft system. (Even though FARA can carry more sophisticated & longer range sensor payload, future tactical UAS program will compensate for that by fielding higher numbers of platforms and distributing them cross the battlefield.) This is a very good trade-off.

And today's networking revolution & increasing sensor to shooter connectivity has decreased the need to mount firepower and sensor package on the same platform. Hence, wherever feasible (by prioritising modularity, cost effectiveness & ease of manufacturing) more and more simpler, separate sensor and shooter platforms are being built.

However, it does not necessarily always negate the need of combining sensor package & heavy weapons in a single expensive platform. In fact, those are also imperative in highly contested battefield and combat scenarios.

In that same spirit, heavy attack helicopters will continue to have its relevance as the primary rotary-wing heavy CAS platforms. (Note that, just 9 months ago US Army has ordered 184x latest variant of AH64E.)

Firstly, we know that AH-64 used to be an excellent ISR asset. (It still is) As it was more survivable as a low flying, highly maneuverable rortaty-wing platform compared high flying slow non-maneuverable large drones like MQ-9. Which are more vulnerable to medium and long range AD than AH-64. But now with small and highly attritable UAVs like ORLAN-30 or RQ-21B flying over the treeline without worrying much about being shot down, largely negate that unique advantage that AH-64 provided previously.

However, where heavy attack helicopters like Apache or T929 is really unmatched, is in their ability to very rapidly concentrated heavy (direct & indirect) firepower at a time and place of necessity or commander's choosing.

That can be largely understood in three ways.

*Scenario No.1– Let's say you have lots of UAV sensoring all over the battlefield and it is totally transparent to you. Also, you have capable UAV to artillery (sensor to shooter) networking. However, you are defending a large area where you don't have sufficient numbers of tanks & IFVs (close combat platforms) to cover all the potential axis of enemy advance. (Now, artillery is very lethal when it comes to stopping enemy advance. However, it is not always sufficient nor can it replace the need for direct combat platforms. I.e. tanks & IFV.) Let's suppose with UAV sensoring you discover a rapid enemy mechanized & armored thrust through an unexpected axis of advance. Where you don't have sufficient direct combat platforms (tanks & IFVs) of your own. And artillery may not be enough here to completely halt the enemy thrust. So, what can you do? By the time you call in your mechanized and armored untis from other sectors in an hour, enemy penetration has been achieved already and serious damage is done. So, you call in your 'flying tanks', which will reach the area within 10 minutes and by engaging the enemy with heavy firepower, will buy you some very critical time until armored & mechanized units reaches there.

Scenario No. 2– Remember that Ukrainian assault in early week of the counter offensive with Bradleys & leopards that ended in disaster? Leading such assault against a prepared enemy with heavy attack helicopters In a combined arms manner will increase the chances of success and inflict more damage on the enemy. When treversing such highly prepared defesive line, attack helicopters are not vulnerable to mines, dragon's teeth, anti armor trenches & artillery like th way tanks & IFVs are. It offers greater flexibility and freedom of maneuver with tank like firepower in such restricted scenario. (Specially if it comes equipped with DIRCM.)

3. Scenario No. 3– As a security element for the mainbody, attack helicopters offer higher flexibility compared to ground units becaues of their ability to cover large areas in a short timespan. This is very useful when conducting screening and guarding tasks. Let's say you want to advance rapidly through an avenue. Yet you don't have the time nor enough ground unit resources to set up sufficient flanking security forces along the way. So, you task these 'flying tanks' to provide security for your mainbody.


Large UAVs (even though can carry heavy firepower) can't perform these tasks the same way these rotary-wing platforms can do. As they are high-flying, slow, non-maneuverable platforms. Hence highly vulnerable to MRSAMs & LRSAM.

Thus ultimately my conclusion is, T929 is still a very relevant project for TSK,
 
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Sanchez

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attritable
We will keep hearing this word until we are sick of it, and I'm here for it.

Thus ultimately my conclusion is, T929 is still a very relevant project for TSK
I think so as well. Minor issue though, we don't have the engines to build it and maybe to even develop it, hence the backburner.
 

Afif

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We will keep hearing this word until we are sick of it, and I'm here for it.

Haha, that is fairly new deal/rediscovery for us. But I was looking at 1960s 1970s major powers ORBATS, those guys knew that very well.

I think so as well. Minor issue though, we don't have the engines to build it and maybe to even develop it, hence the backburner.

They should have gone with TS3000 when it was presented. That wasn't a wise skip at all.
 

Yasar_TR

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I think it would be easier to develop a more powerful derivative of TS1400 and use it in a dual engine 13 ton helicopter than taking the TS1400 and developing a 3-engine transmission for it.
The TS1400 is a radial flow turboshaft engine. Radial flow engines best work with single stage compressors; and are limited to maximum two stage compressors. The TS1400 is at this limit. There isn't much room for attaining any more meaningful power from this engine.

The T700TEI701D engine that TEI manufactures however, is a 2000hp class engine, and has room to grow to 3000hp level.
We have an additional agreement with GE in our license contract to have freedom to expand and alter the engine as we see fit by informing and taking GE's consent. It is a matter of re negotiating to increase output power level of this well established and proven engine. - provided TEI can allocate manpower and financial resources to this project.
 
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UkroTurk

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The TS1400 is a radial flow turboshaft engine. Radial flow engines best work with single stage compressors; and are limited to maximum two stage compressors. The TS1400 is at this limit. There isn't much room for attaining any more meaningful power from this engine.

The T700TEI701D engine that TEI manufactures however, is a 2000hp class engine, and has room to grow to 3000hp level.
We have an additional agreement with GE in our license contract to have freedom to expand and alter the engine as we see fit by informing and taking GE's consent. It is a matter of re negotiating to increase output power level of this well established and proven engine. - provided TEI can allocate manpower and financial resources to this project.
THE FIRST DOMESTIC PRODUCED HELICOPTER ENGINES IN TÜRKİYE!💪🇹🇷
 
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Strong AI

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From TAI MAG 135:

T625 GÖKBEY Successfully Passed
Two Challenging Tests

The T625 GÖKBEY helicopter took its inaugural flight on September 6, 2018, reaching an altitude of 20,000
feet while operating both twin and single engines. The testing phase of the T625 GÖKBEY helicopter is
still in progress.

The T625 GÖKBEY Utility Helicopter, indigenously designed
and developed by our company, has achieved another significant milestone.
The T625 GÖKBEY helicopter reached its maximum service altitude of 20,000 feet for the first time during the tests. Lasting an
hour, the flight successfully operated with both twin and single
engines at this altitude.
The testing and certification of the T625 GÖKBEY Utility Helicopter, intended for various missions including VIP transport,
cargo transport, air ambulance services, search and rescue operations, and offshore transport, are progressing smoothly. As
part of the serial production, three T625 GÖKBEY helicopters
will soon be delivered to the Gendarmerie General Command.
The T625 GÖKBEY helicopter will be able to execute its missions in the most challenging climates and terrains, at high altitudes and temperatures, day and night, for both domestic and
international users.
 

boredaf

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And confirms my belief that no T625 deliveries to JnGK is yet made.
It would have been fine if they just kept their mouth shut about any deliveries or dates and kept testing Gökbey. It is stuff like this that is making me take every word coming out of TAI with a pinch of salt these days.
 

Sanchez

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Former Hürkuş test pilot and TAI test flight chief Hüseyin Fazla says TAI spent 600 million dollars from its own resources on T929 Atak II. No other sources for the figure aside from his own words, but this is a very rare figure we got on development costs of a national project.

"According to what I have heard, after its flight on April 28, the Atak II prototype was simply thrown aside. In fact, many parts and systems were removed from the helicopter. The helicopter is not flying at the moment. For 10 months, the helicopter has not flown at all, and TAI has begun to feel as if the project has been 'halted'. It is understood that TAI GM Kotil's words on CNN Türk screens about 10 months ago, perhaps in the excitement of the elections, that "We will give it to the Land Forces in 2025" are probably no longer valid."

It seems to also confirm what we've heard about T929 previously, development is on backburner and maybe even halted for now.
 

Afif

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I hope this isn't the cost of Temel Kotil's over enthusiasm. Or somebody messed up at higher management level. (From SSB?)

With so many vital projects running simultaneously in all domains, efficient management of resource & priorities is important than ever.
 

Merzifonlu

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I think it's a normal development. The helicopter that is urgently needed is not the T929 attack helicopter. T925 helicopter is urgently needed.
 

boredaf

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Former Hürkuş test pilot and TAI test flight chief Hüseyin Fazla says TAI spent 600 million dollars from its own resources on T929 Atak II. No other sources for the figure aside from his own words, but this is a very rare figure we got on development costs of a national project.

"According to what I have heard, after its flight on April 28, the Atak II prototype was simply thrown aside. In fact, many parts and systems were removed from the helicopter. The helicopter is not flying at the moment. For 10 months, the helicopter has not flown at all, and TAI has begun to feel as if the project has been 'halted'. It is understood that TAI GM Kotil's words on CNN Türk screens about 10 months ago, perhaps in the excitement of the elections, that "We will give it to the Land Forces in 2025" are probably no longer valid."

It seems to also confirm what we've heard about T929 previously, development is on backburner and maybe even halted for now.
This is not surprising at all, if I had to bet, I would put a lot of money on the fact that it was a political stunt rather than a natural next step in the project.
 

uçuyorum

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This is not surprising at all, if I had to bet, I would put a lot of money on the fact that it was a political stunt rather than a natural next step in the project.
This is a bit of mismanagement, TAI went too quickly to make things work when faced with embargoes and difficulties, instead of taking a step back and rethinking priorities, they went ahead and tried to rush with any solution they found. So just when we thought we found the engine war happens and we can no longer get more than 14 engines. Thankfully, the drive train is common between 925 and 929 so even if Atak II is cancelled for now, at least the R&D will be useful for delivery of T925, but its still be a small number of deliveries.
 

Fairon

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Since FARA is cancelled GE lost a big customer for their T901 engine. Maybe we can try our luck with that engine for T92x series.(till TS3000 is ready)
 

Khagan1923

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Since FARA is cancelled GE lost a big customer for their T901 engine. Maybe we can try our luck with that engine for T92x series.(till TS3000 is ready)
T901 will be used to re-engine over two thousand AH-64 and UH-60 in the US inventory. Don’t know if they really need our business…

Maybe the CT7–8 could be used though until an indigenous 3000shp engine is ready
 

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