In this series of articles, I will try to tell you the history of General Purpose Helicopters used by the Turkish Armed Forces. In the series, which will consist of several sections that do not include all helicopters entering the inventory, you will only find information regarding the procurement and production process of UH-1B / H, AB204 / 205, S-70 and AS-532 series helicopters.
TAF and PAT PATs ...
The helicopter experience of the Turkish Armed Forces started with the Sikorsky H-1957 helicopter, which entered the country in 19 with the help of the USA. These helicopters, which were first used in search and rescue (SAR) missions in the Turkish Air Force, were replaced in 1967 by the use of helicopters for the transportation of the Land Forces to the continent and for various logistics purposes. zamAgusta-Bell AB-204B, AB-205 and Bell UH-1B/H helicopters that came and purchased with the help of the USA.
In March 1966, 18 AB-204B helicopters, some of them armed models, were purchased from the Italian company Agusta, and since 1971 36 UH-1Bs were transferred from US army stocks and 22 of them were used in active duty.
Between 1970-1974, 58 UH-1H were taken from the USA, 42 were given to the Land Forces and 16 to the Air Force. Two AB-1968 helicopters were purchased from Italian Agusta company in 2, and 205 AB-1974 helicopters (1975 Gendarmerie), which were ordered in 44 and started to be delivered since 205, were added to the inventory. Between 20-1983, 1985 more AB-4 helicopters were purchased from Agusta, 46 for the Gendarmerie. Between May 205 and February 1984, 1986 UH-10H helicopters were produced, including 25 for the Air Force.
These helicopters were actively involved in the Cyprus Peace Operation in 1974 and made an important contribution to the success of the operation. The other PAT PATs, which are also used intensely in internal security and cross-border operations, carried 1000s of soldiers, materials, injured and unfortunately martyrs in which they fly. NCC, the engine applied to 2000 UH-52H and 1 AB-23 helicopters in the inventory in 205s (T53-L-13 1400shp engine T53-L- The service life of helicopters called UH-703HT and AB-1800T was extended until 1 with the modernization of 205 2030shp engine) and avionic modernization.
Until 1990, more than 90% of the helicopters used by the Turkish Armed Forces and Gendarmerie are design and / or manufacture of Bell Helicopter Textron. About 204 of the Bell model AB-205/120 helicopters were purchased directly from Agusta, with the exception of some UH-IB and UH-IH general purpose helicopters supplied with American aid and joint production. S-1993A / D and AS-70 Mk 532/1 + Cougar helicopters, which started to enter the inventory since 1, started to replace the aging AB-204/205 and UH-1B / H series helicopters.
UH-1H PRODUCTION WORK IN TURKEY
Land Forces Command for the US company Bell Helicopter UH-IH helicopter production of 901 Holiday Home Depot and Factory Command of the common assembling / manufacturing to be produced in Turkey-US Defense Industry Cooperation began in the frame. Joint assembly / manufacturing, which is deemed appropriate to start with certain stages, is planned to be carried out in 4 successive stages, starting from simple and enabling it to be used in domestic produced parts in the following stages, and the project was completed between 1983-1993. While the production was carried out with 10.000 pieces in the first phase, this number was increased to 26.600 pieces in the last phase. Within the scope of the program, a total of 77.600 pieces were used, and as a result of this, a USD 3 million saving was achieved despite the facility investment of USD 34 million.
The first phase implementation was actually started on 30.07.1984. At this stage, which can be named as technical manufacturing, the assembly of the body, tail transmission, main and tail rotors, paller, engine and avionic devices and hydraulic and electronic systems, material tests, quality control test flights, joint assembly with the work of Turkish workers, engineers and pilots. The first helicopter manufacturing product was put into service with a ceremony in October 1984, production continued according to the plan, and the delivery of the first batch of 15 helicopters was completed in November 1985.
In addition to the first phase, the 15-helicopter second phase PLAN-B, which includes additional operations such as combining the main body parts of the helicopter in the main cabin gauge, joining the cargo and crew doors in the gauges, laying the electrical system, was started in December 1985 and completed in December 1986 as planned.
In the third phase, the third stage of 15 helicopters PLAN C, where the entire electrical system, all fuel and hydraulic pipes, instrument panel, tail rotor drive shafts and soundproof cover assembly will be produced locally at the factory, was started in August 1987 and finished in November 1988.
In the fourth phase, which started in 1991, assembly and delivery of 800 more helicopters, in which 15 pencil body parts will be produced locally, were delivered.
UH-1H; It has 13 passenger capacity, including crew, 2 hours 30 minutes airborne time, 360 kilometers range, 160km / h speed, 1110BG engine power, and 15.000ft altitude ceiling.
The second part of our article will be published very soon.
Source: A. Emre SİFOĞLU /savunmasanayist