Farnborough Air Show

Turkish Supersonic Trainer Breaks Cover

 - July 15, 2018, 3:55 AM

Turkish Aerospace has revealed a full-scale mockup of its Hürjet advanced supersonic trainer/light attack platform. The company officially launched development of the jet-powered aircraft in August 2017 with the primary aim of replacing the Turkish Air Force’s fleet of around 70 Northrop T-38A Talons, although Turkish Aerospace (Chalet A31; Outdoor Exhibit OE29/30) expects the ultimate requirement to be higher and will offer the aircraft for export. First flight is planned for 2022 or 2023.

Intended primarily for advanced/lead-in fighter training duties, the Hürjet is also to be employed on “Red Air” adversary, light attack/close support and border surveillance missions, augmenting the air force’s fleet of F-16s. The mockup on display this week at the Farnborough Airshow is depicted with L-UMTAS laser-guided air-to-surface missile, Teber-81 and -82 laser/GPS-guided bombs, and the HGK-82 GPS/inertially-guided bomb.

Hürjet is intended to have a top speed of Mach 1.2 and a 13,710-m (45,000-foot) ceiling. A 6,000-kg (13,228-pound) payload is envisioned, including radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors. Avionics and other systems draw heavily on those developed for the Hürkus turboprop-powered trainer, which also has an armed version known as Hürkus-C.

An indigenous advanced jet trainer has figured in Turkey’s planning for around a decade, with more detailed conceptual studies beginning around seven years ago. The first images of the project depicted a twin-fin, twin-engined design, similar to the joint Sierra Nevada Corporation/Turkish Aerospace Freedom Trainer that was pitched as a potential T-X candidate for the U.S. Air Force. More recently, images of a single-fin, single-engined Hürjet design have been released, and the mockup has been completed in this new configuration.