TAI R-IAH

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has launched a small, armed, unmanned helicopter which it says could prove attractive to Middle Eastern countries as an attractive alternative to the products being produced in Israel.

At the Paris Air Show today the R-IHA – the Turkish acronym for rotary-wing UAS – was launched and Gorkem Bilgi, business development leader at TAI’s integrated helicopter department said the prototype is expected to achieve first flight in mid-2012.

Bilgi told journalists that negotiations are ongoing with several potential customers within Turkey, including the navy, gendarmerie and national police.

TAI launched the R-IHA programme after detecting a gap in the market for an unmanned helicopter between 300kg (660lb) and 500kg, Bilgi said.

The prototype design is listed with an endurance of 4h, a maximum take-off weight of 340kg with a 100kg payload, 10,000ft (3,050m) service ceiling and a top cruise speed of 100kt (185km/h).

The R-IHA joins a UAS portfolio within TAI that includes a medium-altitude long-endurance UAS called the AMKA. The first vehicle achieved first flight in December. Two more vehicles are scheduled for delivery in 2012 to complete an initial order by the Turks.

 

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.