TAI T625 Özgün - Turkey's "Home-grown" Multi-role Helicopter

IndraStra Global

TAI T625 Özgün - Turkey's "Home-grown" Multi-role Helicopter

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: The Successful first flight of T625 on 6th September at TAI facilities in Ankara, Turkey. / Source: Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)/Hürriyet Daily News

Image Attribute: The Successful first flight of T625 on 6th September at TAI facilities in Ankara, Turkey. / Source: Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)/Hürriyet Daily News

Timeline:


  • In 2010, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) launched the preliminary design studies for a multi-role helicopter. 
  • In September 2013, Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı - SSM) signed a contract with TAI, to develop an indigenous light multi-mission helicopter to meet general-purpose helicopter requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces and civilian authorities.
  • In December 2015, the deal between TAI, Honeywell, and Rolls-Royce was signed to establish local assembly, parts manufacturing, inspection, and test and depot repair capability in Turkey. The agreement is expected to provide helicopters to the local Turkish military and civil market, and globally. 
  • The first prototype of the helicopter was unveiled to the public at the International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) held in May 2017.
  • Helicopter successfully performed its first flight on 6th September at TAI facilities in Ankara, Turkey.
  • Currently, the helicopter is undergoing certification and qualification phases and serial production is expected to commence in 2021.


Design:


T625 measures 15.87 m-long (52 ft., rotor turning) and rotor diameter 13.20 m (43 ft.). It is equipped with a five-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor, designed to improve aerodynamic performance.

The helicopter is operated by a crew of two and can accommodate up to 12 passengers in its cabin. The 6-ton helicopter is envisaged to replace the Turkish Armed Forces’ (Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri - TSK) legacy UH-1H Huey utility helicopters.

The rotary prototype is outfitted with retractable type landing gears for paved/unpaved i.e., even/uneven landing. The hydraulic systems to supply flow and pressure to the landing gear, as well as the flight-control servo actuators is developed by Spanish company CESA.

The design of the helicopter complies with the aviation standards set by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) and Turkish General Directorate of Civil Aviation (SHGM).

Engines:


T625 prototype is powered by two CTS800 turboshaft engines (rated at 1,373 shp/1,024kW each) manufactured by Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC), a partnership between Honeywell International and Rolls-Royce. CTS800 is the commercial and export version LHTEC's T800  which was primarily developed for the United States Army's canceled Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche combat-cum-reconnaissance stealth helicopter program.

Image Attribute: Side-view of a CTS800 Engine / Source: Rolls-Royce
Image Attribute: Side-view of a CTS800 Engine / Source: Rolls-Royce

The CTS800 also powers the TAI T129, an upgraded variant of the A129 Mangusta developed by TAI in partnership with AgustaWestland. However, the production unit will be powered by two TS1400 turboshaft engines, which are being developed indigenously by TUSAŞ Engine Industries (TEI). As of now, only 10 engines have been ordered from LHTEC.

T625 has a maximum cruising speed of 306km/h (165 kt.) and a service ceiling of 6,096 m (20,000 ft.). With a 1,020 kg (2,248 lb) standard fuel tank, the helicopter can travel to a range of more than 740 km (400+ nm) and endure for up to 3 hours and 48 minutes. With the addition of a 280kg (617 lb) auxiliary fuel tank, helicopter’s range can be extended to 948 km (512+ nm, with total 5 hours flight endurance).




Avionics:


Aselsan is providing the Multi-function Displays (MFDs) for T625's cockpit, which features two wide touchscreens (8×20 inches) and two smaller touch screens (8×10 inches) - accommodating data entry touch command control units, airborne radios, an inertial navigation system, and a thermal imaging system.

Application:


Search-and-rescue (SAR), Troop/cargo transportation, VIP transport, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), and other utility purposes such as fire-fighting.