Denmark has received an upgraded prototype of the Saab T-17 Supporter pilot training aircraft after the completion of flight tests.

The aircraft was handed over to the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) at the Danish Air Show in Karup.

The move comes after the older aircraft was upgraded with new digital equipment as part of a larger plan that seeks to future-proof the T-17 fleet.

SA Group’s Scandinavian Avionics was the main supplier of the prototype.

The company’s engineers and design specialists developed hardware and documentation, including a new layout of the instrument panel, connections, diagrams, wiring and placement of instruments.

DALO, the Danish Armed Forces Maintenance Service, the Royal Danish Air Force and 2M Ståldesign ApS were also involved with the initiative.

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By GlobalData

DALO T-17 capacity manager major Jens Vinther said: “What Scandinavian Avionics has professionally delivered will also form a foundation for modification of the T-17 aircraft, which will ensure the continued relevance of the capacity for the Armed Forces for many years to come.”

The upgraded aircraft features a GTN750Xi GPS navigation and communication tool, a digital engine indication system (EIS), an ADS-B out solution, and LED indicators to save power and reduce maintenance needs.

The analogue equipment in the aircraft’s cockpit has been replaced by digital touchscreens, with an option for wireless uploading of flight-related planning and relevant databases.

The new system has a Garmin G500 TXi display, delivering an enhanced overview of primary flight data including altitude and speed.

The company has also installed a battery-powered GI275 standby indicator in case the aircraft loses its primary power source.

Apart from prototype delivery, the company has prepared a training programme for T-17 technicians. It will be organised and performed by SA Group company AEROTEAM Training Solutions.

Besides, the overall delivery to DALO includes the prototype’s specification and documentation for a forthcoming EU tender for Danish Armed Forces’ T-17 fleet modification.

Overall, the Danish Air Force has 27 T-17 aircraft. These aircraft are used for pilot training, as well as for observation flights, connecting flights and skill maintenance.