Home » Turkey » Turkey Launches R-IHA Armed, Unmanned Helicopter Prototype

Turkey Launches R-IHA Armed, Unmanned Helicopter Prototype

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has launched a small, armed,
unmanned helicopter to expand a widening portfolio in the unmanned
airborne systems market.
Dubbed the R-IHA – the Turkish  rotary-wing UAS – the
prototype is expected to achieve first flight in mid-2012, said Gorkem
Bilgi, business development leader at TAI’s integrated helicopter
Negotiations are ongoing with several potential customers within
Turkey, including the navy, gendarmerie and national police, he said.
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 Turkish military.
TAI believes in Arab countries the AMKA could become an attractive
alternative to Israeli competitors, Bilgi said. The AMKA also will
likely be offered to potential customers in southeastern Europe.