First T-70 for the Turkish Air Force
The delivery of TAI/Sikorsky T-70 Black Hawk helicopters is continuing at a steady pace. It seems that Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI/TUSAŞ) is initially delivering one helicopter per operator, and it clearly was the turn of the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri (Turkish Air Force) and more specifically 135 Filo at Konya air base.
The Bell UH-1H Hueys of 135 Filo were withdrawn from use some years back and the unit have been solely operating the AS532UL Cougar as its helicopter asset since. They also operate a number of CN235-100M dual-engine light transport aircraft.
It seems that the first Turkish Air Force T-70 is assigned the serial 22-010, where the “fiscal year” is not 100% confirmed yet.
Before this delivery to the air force, single T-70 deliveries took place to the following end-users (thanks to Turan Oguz, twitter @TyrannosurusRex): Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı (Gendarmerie General Command), Orman Genel Müdürlüğü (General Directorate of Forestry), Kara Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı (Land Forces Command) and Özel Kuvvetler Komutanlığı (Special Forces Command). And now, the Hava Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı (Air Force Command) is the latest user of the T-70.
Scramble Magazine was not aware that the Special Forces Command at Ankara-Etimesgut already received a T-70. Delivery of this Black Hawk was apparently kept under wraps for obvious reasons.
Through the social channel of Tolga Ozbek, we learned that the distribution of the 109 helicopters under the TMUHP programme has changed. Orman Genel Müdürlüğü (Directory of Forestry) will only get three aircraft, the remaining seventeen that were initially planned for them will be transferred to the Army (14x) and Gendarmerie (3x). This corrects our previous posts on the Directory of Forestry and the Gendarmerie.