Turkish Aerospace Industries and the Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company, a 50-50 partnership between Honeywell International Inc. and Rolls-Royce, have signed an agreement to supply CTS800 turboshaft engines for the Turkish Light Utility Helicopter, a program of the Undersecretary for Defense Industry since September 2013.
The agreement, which confirms a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at this year’s Paris Air Show, consists of a five-year development program to integrate and certify the CTS800-4AT engine model on the Turkish Light Utility Helicopter (TLUH) platform. The agreement is expected to result in a production program that will provide helicopters to the local Turkish military and civil market, as well as globally. With the CTS800, operators will benefit from a proven commercial and military propulsion system that expands mission range and payload.
In addition to the development program, Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) plans to industrialize production and maintenance of the engine in Turkey, boosting the Turkish aerospace market by providing local opportunities for manufacturing and depot repair.
“This deal will deliver a wealth of employment and industrial benefits to the Turkish aerospace industry. LHTEC is committed to working with local Turkish companies to manufacture the CTS800 engine as well as establish a local depot with maintenance and repair capabilities to support these future fleets,” said Daryl Mastin, president, LHTEC.
In addition to the positive impact on the local workforce, the development program also delivers technical and commercial advantages. For delivery in 2020, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will design a 5-ton, twin-engine utility helicopter equipped with the CTS800, the same engine model that powers the T129 ATAK helicopters currently in use by the Turkish Land Forces.
With almost a quarter of the Turkish gross domestic product stemming from its manufacturing sector, the Turkish Light Utility Helicopter program brings significant potential for domestic Turkish suppliers to provide manufacturing and support for both the production program and engine development. By working directly with local vendors, the CTS800 global support network will help create further job opportunities that match local skills with domestic work demand.
“For TAI’s new locally developed helicopter, the LHTEC CTS800 engine is a clear choice thanks to its proven capabilities in the most challenging environments. The synergy between the ATAK and TLUH fleets will allow greater efficiency in logistics, maintenance and familiarity for engineers, with a streamlined support network compared with other engines on the market,” Mastin added.