Aviation

Attack Helicopter Comparison : HAL Rudra VS AW/TAI T-129 ATAK

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Background :

  • Both helicopters belongs to the Light Attack Helicopter category .
  • Both aircrafts are Twin-engine , all-weather Multi-role helicopters .
  • Both helicopters can carry a wide range of weapons including A2A (Air-to-Air) A2G (Air-to-Ground) missiles , rockets & a 20 mm gun .
  • HAL Rudra is a Combat Utility helicopter developed by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) while the T-129 ATAK is jointly developed by Italy’s AgustaWestland and Turkey’s TAI .
  • HAL Rudra is Armed variant derived from Indian Utility helicopter HAL Dhruv which is in service with 7 countries which includes India , Turkey , Israel , Maldives ,Mauritius , Nepal & Peru.
  • T-129’s design is derived from Italian AW A-129 helicopter which is in service with the Italian Army . T-129 variant is operated only by Turkish forces at present .
  • HAL Rudra’s first flight was conducted on 16 August 2007 and it joined service in 2013 while T129’s maiden flight took place on 28 September 2009 and it was introduced to service in 2014 .
  • HAL has total 76 Rudra units on order (60 for Indian Army & 16 for Indian Air Force) while TAI has total order of 89 units of T-129 ATAK (59 for Turkey & 30 for Pakistan).

So lets begin the comparison with the help of various evaluation benchmarks !

Crew 

HAL Rudra :  2

T-129 ATAK : 2  (tandem)

Passenger Capacity

HAL Rudra : 12-14 passengers

T-129 ATAK : ZERO  , because it is a tandem seat helicopter.

Unit Price 

HAL Rudra : 12-14 million USD

T-129 ATAK :  23-24 million USD

Empty weight 

HAL Rudra  :  2,502 kg

T-129 ATAK : 2,350 kg      ( Lighter )

Max. Useful Payload

HAL Rudra  :  2600 kg      ( Better )

T-129 ATAK : 1200 kg

Powerplant 

HAL Rudra  :  2 × HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshafts, 1,067 kW each

T-129 ATAK : 2 × LHTEC CTS800-4A turboshaft, 1,024 kW each

*Comments –

T-129 uses American-British engine LHTEC CTS800-4N which gives the United States power to veto over any prospective export sales. This engine also makes T-129 very susceptible to US sanctions .

Maximum Speed 

HAL Rudra  :  290 km / hr   (Slightly Better)

T-129 ATAK : 269 km / hr

Ferry Range 

HAL Rudra  :  827 km

T-129 ATAK : 1000 km  (Slightly Better)

Service ceiling 

HAL Rudra  :  6,096 meters       ( Much Better )

T-129 ATAK : 4,572 meters

Comments –

The difference in service ceilings is significant (almost 1.5 km) which means T-129 ATAK cant be as effective for High Altitude warfare as the Rudra .

Total No. of Hardpoints 

HAL Rudra  :  4

T-129 ATAK : 4

Capacity to carry Air-to-Air & Air-to-Ground Missiles 

HAL Rudra  :   Yes

T-129 ATAK : Yes

Main Gun 

HAL Rudra  : 1 × 20 mm M-621 with 800 rounds   ( Rudra & LCH carries the same gun )

T-129 ATAK :  1× 20 mm M-197 with 500 rounds

Helmet Mounted Sight 

HAL Rudra : Yes

T-129 ATAK : Yes

Electronic Warfare ( EW) Suite &  EO Pod 

HAL Rudra : Yes

T-129 ATAK : Yes

Accidents 

Note – We have only counted any incidents involving of Rudra & T-129 . Any Accidents with the helicopters they are based on (Dhruv & A-129) were not considered .

HAL Rudra : No accidents since they joined service in 2013 or during development trials .

T-129 ATAK :  2 accidents till date .

1. On 19 March 2010, during the hover test, T129 prototype P1 lost its tail rotor at 15,000 feet. Test pilot Cassioli regained enough control to steer away from residential area before crashing; the crew escaped without serious injuries.

2. On 10 February, 2018, during the Turkish military operation in Afrin, a T129 of the Turkish Army was shot down by Kurdish YPG anti-aircraft firing .

 

CONCLUSION 

From the above comparison , HAL Rudra seems to have better performance compared to the T-129 ATAK in almost all of the benchmarks in their current configuration.

Please note that the future upgrades and variants can change the outcome of similar comparison.

 

Please Note :

This was a basic specification comparison between the HAL Rudra  &  T-129 ATAK .

In case of any question/suggestion  , please drop us a comment down below .

* The data has been derived from the manufacturer websites of HAL Rudra & TAI/AW T-129 ATAK  .

 

Written By :   Aniket M. Singh  ( Guest Writer )

Disclaimer : This is an Article written by a Guest writer and opinions expressed within this article are personal opinions of the author. thedefnestar.com is not responsible for the accuracy , suitability , completeness or validity of any information in this article .All information is provided on an as-is basis . The information ,facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of thedefenstar.com and thedefenstar.com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. Article is for information purpose only and not intended to constitute professional advice. 
Article By Aniket M. Singh , can not be re-published partially or fully without consent from writer or thedefenstar.com
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