Singapore last week confirmed its choice of the Alenia Aermacchi M346 advanced jet trainer to replace the aging TA-4S Skyhawks its air force operates. Deliveries will begin in 2012. Prime contractor ST Aerospace will manage the $412 million deal to supply 12 aircraft plus spares, and a ground-based training system (GBTS).
India signed a contract for 57 more BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs), all to be manufactured under license at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) factory in Bangalore. A previous contract provided 24 Hawk AJTs from the BAE Systems production line in the UK, six more in kit form for assembly by HAL, and 36 to be license-built.
German aircraft manufacturer Grob Aircraft and Elbit Systems, the Israeli specialist in electronic defense, have signed several agreements to partner in the development of a new family of trainer aircraft called the G-120TP. The aircraft will be based on a modular concept, which will result in one aircraft in three different configurations: side-by-side, tandem-seat and a four-seat models.
The first courses to be provided under the UK’s new military flying training systems (MFTS) are to begin in less than a year when Royal Navy observers start training next May. Later that year, advanced jet training with new BAE Systems Hawks is to begin, and air crew destined for that training are already preparing on the first of six flight training devices installed at the Royal Air Force’s Valley base.
Atlantic Inertial Systems (AIS), part of Goodrich Corp., is the provider of the Terprom terrain-referenced navigation system that is installed in many combat aircraft, such as the F-16 and Typhoon, and increasingly in military transports such as the C-17 and C-130.
Northrop’s venerable T-38 Talon supersonic trainer entered service with the U.S. Air Force in March 1961 and has provided the advanced portion of the service’s training syllabus ever since. Over 1,100 were delivered and more than 450 remain in service.
Grob Aircraft is developing a turboprop version of its G115/G120 series of primary trainers. Elbit Systems of Israel has joined the Austrian company in a joint venture for the G120TP, which has already flown. The new version is designed to meet India's urgent requirement for 175 basic trainers.
SimCom signed an agreement with Pilatus Aircraft to manufacture a type-specific PC-12 NG flight training device, to be used by owners and operators throughout Europe. The simulator will be located at the Pilatus factory in Stans, Switzerland, and will be available for training in the first quarter of next year. In addition, SimCom will provide the initial and recurrent pilot training and advanced training courseware.
With accumulated flight time approaching 10,000 hours, some 350 pilots have been trained to fly Embraer’s new Phenom 100 very light jet, more than 100 of which have been delivered, including around 30 to Europe. The Brazilian airframer’s backlog includes 600-plus Phenom 100s and the larger Phenom 300 light jets.
Hawker Beechcraft successfully completed the maiden flight of its second AT-6 production-representative test vehicle (PRTV) on April 5 in Wichita. The first PRTV first flew with the new mission avionics suite last September. The second PRTV is the first to fly with the intended powerplant, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68D rated at 1,600 shp (1194 kW).