TAI Hurkus demonstrated to Azerbaijan

Turkey is looking to revive historic relationships with neighbouring Azerbaijan through the potential sale of trainer aircraft.

Hurkus lines up on runway
Hurkus propares for possible role in Azerbaijan training.

One former president of Azerbaijan described relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey as being those between "one nation, two states." Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan's independence in 1918, and then the restoration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Turkey has provided support to its Turkic near neighbour in peacetime and during the Second Karabakh War in 2020, and the two nations have built upon their linguistic and cultural ties to form a very close economic partnership. Turkey and Azerbaijan have co-operated in oil, gas and infrastructure projects, including a number of vital gas pipelines.

And now Azerbaijan seems to be lining up to buy the Turkish Aerospace Hürkuş turboprop-powered basic trainer aircraft. Two Hürkuş aircraft were demonstrated in Baku on 3 December, during a Distinguished Visitors Day attended by the Azerbaijani Deputy Defence Minister and Commander of the Air Force Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci, and Military Attaché Major General Zekeriya Yalcin. The aircraft (TC-VCC and TC-VCA) were flown by Turkish and Azeri pilots, and briefings were given on the tactical capabilities and technical characteristics of the aircraft.

Ismail Demir, the head of the Turkish Defence Industry Committee subsequently said that the Azerbaijani military had shown "great interest" in the aircraft, though it was not made clear whether Baku was interested in the Hürkuş-B trainer variant or the Hürkuş-C attack variant. Azerbaijan has previously shown interest in the TAI Hürjet advanced trainer and light attack aircraft. 

If Azerbaijan did order the Hürkuş, it would become the second export customer for the aircraft, following an earlier order placed by the Armée de l'Air du Niger (Niger Air Force) in November 2021.