Chad will become the second African nation to acquire the new-generation Hürkuş basic trainer aircraft from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAŞ), after the company confirmed that an undisclosed number of examples had be sold to the country at the Farnborough International Airshow, which was held from July 18-22.
The move – which will make Chad the second operator of the type in Africa, after Niger – was revealed by Temel Kotil, CEO of TUSAŞ, during an interview with CNN Türk. He confirmed that the platform would be used in its training role and noted that it would also provide the Chadian military with a light attack capability. “This aircraft is used for training and war preparation,” he said. “Some of the same training we perform with the F-16 is also possible. Additionally, we can equip it with missiles.”
He went on to explain that there would be additional Hürkuş sales to Niger in the future, adding that the first batch of pilots are currently being trained and that the first aircraft will be delivered before the end of this year. Earlier this year, Libya reportedly ordered an unspecified number of Hürkuş-C basic trainer/light attack aircraft, but that deal was not addressed by Kotil when he was discussing the sales to Niger and Chad.
Powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68T turboprop engine, the Hürkuş boast a maximum speed of 310kts (574km/h) and a range of 798nm (1,478km) at 15,000ft (4,572m), with an 4.25-hour endurance at the same altitude. The type has an operational service ceiling of 34,701ft (10,577m) and can be fitted with a range of armaments, comprising 12.7mm and 20mm gun pods; rockets; missiles and guided/unguided bombs.