The Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) has received into service the first Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)/AgustaWestland (AW) T129 ATAK combat helicopters, TAI announced on 22 April.

The company did not say how many were delivered, but nine early-delivery, basic-configuration T129A helicopters were ordered by the TLFC ahead of the main batch of 50 T129B platforms, and it was this number that was seen on TAI’s flightline ahead of the handover ceremony.

This handover of the first domestically built variant of the AW A129 Mangusta marks an important milestone in a programme that has been dogged by delays. The handover was scheduled to be handed over in mid-2013, but this was put back due to technical issues discovered during acceptance tests. […]