Local copter to race with Cobra, Apache

Local copter to race with Cobra, Apache

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Local copter to race with Cobra, Apache

South Korea has cleared the way for the ATAK helicopters to enter the 36-combat helicopter tender. AA photo

South Korea has approved for the Turkish-Italian joint venture ATAK helicopter to enter the 36-combat helicopter tender this year, where it will compete with Cobra of Bell and Apache of Boeing.

The South Korean Defense Ministry gave the green light to ATAK following a positive report based on three weeks of examinations and tests on the helicopter in Turkey.

Turkey has an advantage in the competition as the country may support South Korea in the manufacturing of ATAKs, Turkish Defense Ministry officials said. A number of Gulf and Turkic countries also are interested in ATAK helicopters.

ATAK is an attack helicopter co-developed by Turkey and Italy’s AgustaWestland. A total of 59 ATAK helicopters are planned to be produced for the Turkish army. The first helicopters are expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

The first test flight of the first ATAK prototype was carried out Aug. 17, 2011, while an additional three prototypes in Italy and two prototypes in Turkey are currently in the testing process.