Hawker Beechcraft has received a contract for the delivery of six upgraded T-6C+ military trainer aircraft to replace the Mexican Air Force's (FAM) ageing PC-7 Turbo trainer fleet.
An advanced version of the T-6 military trainer, T-6C+ features hard-point wings, a wide-field-of-view heads-up display (HUD), up-front control panel and an integrated glass cockpit to support advanced training opportunities. Additional features include an advanced Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite with an open architecture, a fully integrated and FAA-certified dual FMS/GPS navigation suite that meets required navigation performance standards for worldwide pilot training.
The cockpit's open architecture design offers flexibility to extend capabilities and continuously meet existing and future training requirements. The aircraft systems are incorporated with a hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS), which offers a simpler interface to the digital cockpit allowing the student pilot and instructor to access critical cockpit functions.
Besides instrument flight procedures and basic aerial training, the T-6 is also suited to basic introductory flight-training tasks, which before now were performed using an expensive jet aircraft. The trainer is also capable of carrying external stores as well as delivering practice weapons for training purposes.
Delivery of the initial two contracted aircraft to an advanced training base in Mexico is scheduled to take place in early 2012. Since the commencement of T-6 aircraft deliveries in 2000, the aircraft has been used for training by pilots in 20 different nations, including those serving in the US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy.
The aircraft has also been ordered by Canada, Greece, Israel, Iraq and Morocco for a range of military programmes including Nato flight-training missions.