A fighter pilot is as expensive as the aircraft he or she flies. The current trend for containing costs is to concentrate as much of the training syllabus as possible on cost-efficient turboprop trainers, including a large part of the lead-in phase and weapon training, and to limit the use of high-performance jet trainers. Operating costs of jet trainers are estimated to be three to six times those of a turboprop.
The Royal Bahraini Air Force’s new air training wing is on track to start full operations in 2007. In March 2006 synthetic training equipment will be delivered, and by the end of next year all six Hawk aircraft are to be in place.
Deliveries of six Hawk Mk 129s to the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) by BAE Systems beginning in the middle of next year will highlight the company’s continuing efforts to promote its advanced jet trainer in the highly competitive Middle East market. On August 26, the first of six aircraft destined for Bahrain made its first flight at BAE’s Warton facility in the UK.
The Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50 Golden Eagle could capture a large proportion of future world orders for advanced jet trainers. This transpacific joint venture made its aerial debut at the Seoul Air Show last month, and is now taking to the international stage here at Dubai 2005 this week. It is the first new, supersonic purpose-built jet trainer to fly in 40 years. The Koreans are very proud of it.
Thales has developed a new product called “interactive embedded simulation” that could very well become a new industry benchmark in training and simulation rather than a passing catchphrase. The concept is the brainchild of the company’s director for business development-Asia, Gen. (ret.) Gerard Le Bretton.
The arrival on Sunday of the BAE Systems Hawk New Demonstrator Aircraft (HNDA) marks the debut of the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) anywhere in Asia and the start of a six-week tour of the region. After a number of the Singapore air force’s leading pilots have flown in the Hawk, the HNDA team will take the opportunity to fly pilots from the Royal Brunei Air Force.
Boeing subsidiary Alteon Training has begun building regional training center here in Singapore. Located near Changi Airport, the new training facility will have the capacity to train 6,000 pilot and flight attendant students annually.
Much in evidence here at the Asian Aerospace show this week are the four competitors for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s basic/primary trainer competition: the Aermacchi M-311, Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, Pilatus PC-21 and the Raytheon T-6B. The presence of these aircraft in Singapore coincides with the latest evaluation by the RSAF following earlier flights at the manufacturers’ test sites.
Sikorsky has selected BAE Systems to develop an active pilot inceptor system for the U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk program. The new system will replace the mechanical pilot controls on the current UH-60 with active technology that saves weight and provides pilots with intuitive tactile cues for easier handling and reduced workload.
Malaysia has signed a contract for 10 Pilatus PC-7 MkII turbo trainer aircraft, ground-based training systems and a complete integrated logistic support package. The sale is valued in excess of $53 million with a delivery set for sometime in 2007.