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Turkish Air Force receives first upgraded T38M aircraft

26 April 2012

T38 jet trainer aircraft

Turkish Air Force (TurAF) has received the first prototype of the T38 jet trainer aircraft with an avionics upgrade from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)..

The delivery follows the previously awarded contract by the Undersecreteriat for Defense Industries (SSM) to design, develop and implement an avionics upgrade for the TurAF as a part of T-38 avionics modernisation (ARI) programme.

Under the contract signed in 2007, TAI will upgrade a total of 55 TurAF T-38A aircraft to extend its service life until beyond 2020.

The T38 aircraft upgrades includes a new central control computer, multi-function cockpit displays, head-up displays, hands-on throttle and stick controls and modern navigation and communication equipment.

As part of the modernisation programme, scheduled for completion in 2014, five aircraft are currently undergoing upgrade process at TAI's facilities of which two are prototypes and three are production examples.

The remaining 50 production aircraft will be modernised at TurAF 1st Air Supply and Maintenance Center with technical support of TAI.

The Northrop Grumman-built T-38 twin-jet trainer aircraft features low wing monoplane with a fuselage of semi-monocoque design, cantilever all-metal tail and the multispar wings.

Powered by two General Electric-built J85-GE-5 turbojet engines, the aircraft is equipped with three fuselage bladder tanks and a dorsal bladder tank with a total capacity of 2,206 litres of usable fuel.

Additional features include the Hoffman AN/ARN-65 Tacan tactical air navigation system, Hazeltine AN/AP-64 IFF information friend or foe transponder and a Rockwell Collins AN/ARN-58 ILS instrument landing system.

Over 500 T-38s are in service with the US Air Force and are also used by the air forces of Germany, South Korea and Taiwan.

Image: Turkish Air Force officials receive the first prototype of T38 jet trainer aircraft from TAI. Photo: TAI.