The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Hurkus basic trainer/light attack aircraft conducted its first firing test with a missile on 7 March, launching a Roketsan L-UMTAS laser-guided long-range air-to-surface anti-tank missile.
The L-UMTAS missile, fired from a Hurkus at the Firing Test and Evaluation Group Command test range near the central Anatolian town of Konya-Karapinar, hit its target successfully, Turkish defence minister Fikri Isik stated on 8 April in a message posted on Twitter.
The L-UMTAS, which is capable of engaging targets at ranges out to 8 km, is also being developed with an anti-personnel warhead as an alternative to its tandem anti-tank warhead.
Currently mounted on T129 attack helicopters (jointly developed by TAI and Italy's AgustaWestland), the 20th of which was delivered to the Turkish armed forces on 9 April, the L-UMTAS is also designed to be fired from fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles as well as land and sea platforms, according to a statement released by the Turkish Defence Industries Undersecretariat (SSM) on 7 April.
The Hurkus, which along with the L-UMTAS will also be armed with Roketsan UMTAS infrared-guided anti-tank missiles and Cirit laser-guided 70 mm rockets as well as bombs upgraded with Teber precision guidance kits, has five stores pylons and will be able to carry a payload of 1,500 kg, the SSM added.
As well as operating as basic trainers, armed Hurkus aircraft will be able to conduct light assault and armed reconnaissance missions in the counter-insurgency role. The type is planned to enter into service in 2018.
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