DEFENCE WEB: Chad has taken into service the three Hurkus trainer aircraft it ordered from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), along with two Anka unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
TAI revealed Chad’s Hurkus order in July last year, stating Chad’s aircraft would be configured for light attack as well as training, and delivered in the first quarter of 2023.
On 10 July President General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno visited the country’s main air base to inspect the new aircraft, with a video of the event revealing all three Hurkus-C turboprops in service along with two Anka UAVs, also made by TAI. The Hurkus-C is the light attack version of the Hurkus trainer, and the Roketsan MAM-L laser-guided weapons also displayed on 10 July can be used by both Chad’s Hurkus and Anka aircraft. Chad also appears to have received Cirit laser-guided missiles.
In May, TAI revealed that it had delivered three Hurkus-Cs and two Ankas to Chad, as well as two Hurkus to neighbouring Niger, which placed the first confirmed export order for the type.
The Hurkus is a tandem two-seat, low-wing, single-engine turboprop aircraft that was designed as a new-generation trainer as well as a platform for performing light-attack and armed reconnaissance combat missions. The Hurkus-A is the basic version that can be used by non-military customers while the Hurkus-B is a more advanced version with more sophisticated avionics.
The Hurkus-C is the armed variant that can be used for close air support. It is fitted with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor and can carry 1 500 kg of weaponry. It has been seen fitted with L-UMTAS anti-tank guided missiles, Cirit laser-guided rockets and external fuel tanks. It will also be able to carry bombs, 12.7 mm machineguns and 20 mm cannon pods.
The Anka-A first flew in 2010 and entered service with the Turkish military in 2014. The improved Anka-S entered service in 2017. It has a payload of 200 kg and can carry eight Cirit 70 mm rockets or four MAM-L guided missiles. The Anka-S can be fitted with a variety of payloads including Aselsan SARPER radar, Star Safire 380-HDL forward-looking infrared and satellite communications link.
Endurance is 24 hours, with a maximum altitude of 9 000 metres. The aircraft is powered by a diesel engine driving a three blade propeller, giving a cruising speed of around 200 km/h.