The first Leonardo (formerly known as AgustaWestland) AW119T Koala training helicopters destined for the Türk Kara Havacilik Komutanlığı (Turkish Army Aviation Command) have been seen in January and February 2023 when performing test flights from Varese-Venegono Airport (Italy).
Although CSX82076 (c/n 15521) was still test flying in its primer paint-scheme in January, Scramble Magazine assesses that it will be painted in the same Turkish Army livery that is sister, serial CSX82083 (c/n 15522), was seen when test flying in February.
In June 2022, the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM - Savunma Sanayii Mustesarligi) placed a firm order for the delivery of fifteen Leonardo AW119T (T for Turkish) Koala training helicopters. Scramble Magazine first reported on the tender for a new helicopter in August 2019.
The Koala helicopters will replace the Agusta-Bell AB206R Jet Ranger training helicopters. The current fleet of Jet Rangers are operated out of Isparta/Süleyman Demirel airport by the Kara Havacilik Okul Komutanlığı (Army Aviation School Command), Döner Kanat Uçuş Eğitim Kurulu (Rotary Wing Flight Training Course).
Photo by Tiziano Capenti