Beginning in 1997 Kamov company, in partnership with IAI, began competing in the tender for a $4 billion contract for the supply of 145 combat helicopters to the Turkish Army. In compliance with the tender requirements, KAMOV/IAI group submitted the required documentation on the Ka-50-2 Erdogan tandem twin-sitter in November 1999. On 06 March 2000, Bulent Ecevit, the Prime Minister of Turkey, announced that Boeing and Eurocopter, French/German company, would be excluded from the list of the Bidders for the combat helicopters supply contract. Among the remaining competitors for the contract award are KAMOV/IAI (Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd.) group with its Ka-50-2 Erdogan, Agusta company from Italy with its A129 Mongoose and Belltextron company from the USA with its AH-1Z King Cobra.
IAI and Kamov teamed together to offer the tandem-seater Ka-50-2, the world's most powerful attack helicopter, in reponse to the Turkish Land Forces (TLF) requirement for 145 attack helicopters. IAI and Kamov complied with the Turkish requirement for a tandem cockpit by reconfiguring the existing side-by-side configuration to a tandem one. The Turkish version of the Ka-50-2 is called ERDOGAN. Another Turkish requirement, which was achieved by IAI and Kamov is the integration of a turret gun instead the original fixed gun. The new ERDOGAN uses a folding turret gun, as an integral part of its armament system.
The Ka-50-2 is the product of a joint effort by Israel Aircraft Industries' Lahav Division, a world leader in avionics modernization and the Kamov Company, the developer of advanced coaxial rotor technology. Kamov is responsible for the helicopter airframe, with its various subsystems, while IAI is responsible for the avionics and weapons delivery system. The integration of a state-of-the-art Western avionics suite with a robust Eastern platform offers best value, in terms of both performance and price.
The Ka-50-2, with its combat proven avionics and advanced anti-tank guided missiles, offers a high level of combat effectiveness. Moreover, the helicopter features superior flight performance, safe and easy piloting and high combat survivability due to its unique coaxial rotor technology and sound aeronautical engineering.
The Ka-50-2 is equipped with IAI's flexible modular avionics suite, which can be readily tailored to meet the TLF's operational requirements and provides extensive growth potential.
IAI and Kamov conducted successful demonstration flights of the Russian helicopter with IAI's Core Avionics. These demonstration flights demonstrated the helicopter's "Glass Cockpit" with multifunctional displays and Control & Display Unit (CDU) driven by centralized Mission and Display computers, flight navigation and the operation of the Helicopter Multi-Mission Optronic Stabilized Payload (HMOSP) targeting system. The demonstration flights included night mission capability demonstrations, utilizing Night Vision Goggles (NVG) and the day/night targeting system.
After eliminating Italy's Agusta (A129-I), it was announced in March 2000 that the US company Bell Helicopter-Textron with its AH-IZ King Cobra had come in first and the Russian-Israeli Kamov/IAI consortium with its KA-50/52-Erdogan had come in second. Disappointed with Turkey's elimination of the French-German Eurocopter consortium from its $4 billion attack helicopter co-production project, French President Jacques Chirac reportedly decided to suspend his state visit to Turkey.
Prior to Executive Committee's decision dated May 2004, Tusas Uzay ve Havacilik San. A.S. was selected as prime contractor. In order to determine foreign company, proposals from Agusta (Italy), Bell (USA), Boeing (USA), Eurocopter (France) and Kamov (Russian Federation) were received. Contract negotiations with two companies in the short list - Bell and Kamov - were executed. The last status of the project was discussed at the Executive Committee's meeting dated May 14, 2004 and it is evaluated that the proposals of subject firms do not meet the expectations related to price, delivery schedule, contracts terms and conditions for technical & administrative issues. Basing on this, current bid has been cancelled and it's decided to accept a new bid for a new project model. SSM has begun to make preparations on the new project model which aims also to meet requirements in a shorter period and to use in-country capabilities and use its best effort to publish Request for Proposal (RFP) as soon as possible.
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