Libya apparently orders Hurkus planes
Libya has apparently ordered Hurkus turboprops from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), years after it first expressed interest in the type.
The Libya Observer on May 21 reported that the Libyan Air Force, with support from the Libyan government, had signed a contract with TAI for an undisclosed number of Hurkus C close air support and training aircraft. .
The publication reports that the agreement was signed on May 19 by the Libyan Air Force Chief of Staff and officials from Turkey’s aerospace industries.
In 2014, Libya expressed interest in T-129 attack helicopters and Hurkus turboprops, with a Libyan official that year visiting TAI’s production facilities.
The Hurkus is a two-seat tandem low-wing turboprop single-engine aircraft that was designed as a next-generation trainer as well as a platform to perform light attack combat and armed reconnaissance missions. The Hurkus-A is the basic version which can be used by non-military customers while the Hurkus-B is a more advanced version with more sophisticated avionics.
The Hurkus-C is an armed variant that can be used for close air support. It is equipped with a frontal infrared sensor (FLIR) and can carry 1,500 kg of armament. It was seen equipped with L-UMTAS anti-tank guided missiles, Cirit laser-guided rockets and external fuel tanks. It will also be able to carry bombs, 12.7mm machine guns and 20mm cannon pods.
The Hurkus-A first flew in August 2013 and the aircraft is in production for the Turkish military. Powered by a PT6A-68T turboprop engine, the aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of over 570 km/h, a range of over four hours and a range of almost 1,500 km.
TAI had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.