Let’s face it — the role of attack helicopters has evolved. They are no longer just used for armed reconnaissance and secondary strike missions. Instead, they have become indispensable in high-end conventional warfare and counter-insurgency operations as well as the premier platform for close air support missions. As a result, attack helicopters have become crucial assets in any battle plan, experiencing a paradigm shift in modern warfare and military strategy.

Who Is The T129 ATAK Designed For?

The T129 ATAK helicopter was designed for the Turkish Armed Forces in cooperation between Turkish Aerospace Industries and AgustaWestland of the UK and Italy.

The T129 ATAK fits well in any army looking for an all-around attack helicopter with high firepower, rapid firing rate, and low maintenance cost. The helicopter is first and foremost built for the Turkish military, but Turkey is offering it to other countries as well.

The Boeing AH-64 Apache made in the US is probably the best attack helicopter in the world given its long operational flight record and combat performance.

But has the Apache, now approaching its 25th birthday met its match in the form of this upstart platform from Turkey?

T129 ATAK Helicopter – Features at a glance

TAI T129 Attack Helicopter “1001” on display at the 2014 Farnborough Air Display (Source: MilborneOne/Wikimedia)

The T129 ATAK helicopter is powered by two powerful engines that generate up to 2,580 HP each, enabling it to fly at a speed of around 285 km/h.

It can reach an altitude of 6,000 feet and a range of 500 miles; it can survive a rate of descent of 23 ft/s. The ATAK helicopter has a maximum take-off weight of 16,000 lbs, which can be further increased up to 18,000 lbs with external fuel tanks. This is significantly higher than that of other helicopters of this type.

The helicopter can seat up to two crew members. It is armed with three powerful weapons — two short-range missiles and a 20 mm gun. The ATAK helicopter can also provide targeting data to other helicopter gunships and ground-based units.