Ankara, Turkey – Undoubtedly, one of the most critical thresholds in Turkey’s domestic and national defense industry products is the process of nationalization of the engine. The fact that Gokbey will take off with a domestic engine in a month is a milestone for the sector.
Turkey continues its efforts to produce domestic and national products in different areas as much as possible in defense industry projects that it has continued at a greater pace in recent years.
One of them is the Gokbey multipurpose helicopter developed by the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TUSAŞ). The calendar for Gokbey to take off with a domestic national engine has come to an end. So, what are the general characteristics of the TS1400 engine installed on this platform, which areas will benefit our country?
Ismail Demir, head of the defense industry, said that the mass production of the Gokbey helicopter will start at the beginning of 2021 and that they are aiming to fly the helicopter with a domestic engine when it comes to the stage of mass production.
The engine developed by TUSAŞ Motor industry is named TS-1400 and that this step is a leading step in a critical change for our country in many ways.
Turkey has gone beyond the core engine for the first time with this project and started to make a larger and more powerful engine, also Turkey has achieved achievements in the ability to produce engines that will power helicopters for the first time as one of the other advantages of the project.
Turbo shaft engines are a type of engine especially used in helicopters. With the TS-1400 engine, both our first domestic general purpose helicopter Gokbey and our first domestic attack helicopter ATAK will be powered.
Integration of the produced engine in its current form will be a milat for Turkey. For the first time, we will be able to fly on an air platform that we have developed ourselves with a gas turbine engine that we have developed ourselves.
According to the technical details of the TS1400 engine, even systems that are considered a ‘requirement’ on paper and considered a simple Add-On require an extremely challenging development process.
It is a certified product for the first use of the TS-1400 engine in Gokbey, a civil aviation helicopter.
We call this certification CS-E. This is a requirement that makes it difficult to develop this product, but also puts the product in a much different category. The TS-1400 engine has many different subsystems to achieve this certification. For example, there is a system that separates dust particles in micrometer diameters that enter the engine and affect its operation.
At the same time, there are systems such as an anti-icing system that can make the engine work in very difficult conditions, such as -40 degrees. Although such systems are put forward as a requirement, it brings the product to a much different point.
What benefits will production of the TS1400 engine bring to Turkey?
Perhaps an important part of the work is the production technologies part. TEI has some very critical production technologies that it has gained and implemented with this project. Serious technologies have been acquired in areas such as single crystal casting and layered manufacturing, which are the highest level of production applications in this field in the world. Another capability gained with the TS-1400 was testing and infrastructure capabilities.
Beyond just one engine development job of the TS-1400 project, it was a very critical technology acquisition for Turkey. With this acquisition, Turkey will have put forward and designed a gas turbine engine as an idea.
This means that we are a country with a serious infrastructure to develop engines such as turboprop and turbofan. It is even possible to develop these engines on the core engine of the TS-1400. So in fact TEI is not just developing a turboshaft engine, it is building the infrastructure to develop a family of engines.
Gokbey and ATAK will be used in both engines TS1400, but the engines in the two products may show serious differences, he said.
The main reason for this is that the ATAK helicopter has much different demands.
There are many different characteristics, such as cruise speed, differences in flight envelope and environmental conditions, as well as maneuverability. For this reason, some design changes are in question, but the TS-1400 developed for Gokbey is subject to the certification requirements I mentioned earlier, while the one developed for ATAK is not in question.
For this reason, we can say that the integration and development processes for the engine to be used in ATAK will progress faster. It may be necessary to wait a little longer for an attack when we put all these reasons at the bottom.
The attack helicopter is exported to countries such as Pakistan and the Philippines. In front of the export of the LHTEC-T800 engine, which is supplied from the United States and is already used in this helicopter, the United States poses various obstacles.
With the integration of TS-1400 for attack, these obstacles will also be eliminated. In this way, especially ATAK, Gokbey and ATAK-2 platforms such as export will not be any obstacles.