Beechcraft has been awarded a contract for delivery of a comprehensive pilot training system to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
The contract covers a total of 11 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop military training aircraft, two CAE operational flight training simulators, computer-based training courseware, and a customised RNZAF pilot training syllabus.
A logistics support agreement is also included in the contract for provision ofaircraft material support, full flight line and operational maintenance, and support and operation of the synthetic training devices for the next 30 years.
Beechcraft has partnered with Safe Air and CAE to work on the contract.
New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said, ''This modern, safe and reliable pilot training system will enable our military pilots to be trained to the highest standards, and is in line with the training systems used in Australia, the UK, the US and Canada.''
Commenting on T-6C, Beechcraft Defense president Russ Bartlett said, ''With more than 825 T-6 aircraft in operation around the world, and more than 2.2 million accumulated flight hours, the aircraft has a fully tested and validated airframe fatigue life, plus an advanced avionics capability to facilitate future growth.''
An upgraded variant of the T-6A military trainer, the T-6C features updated cockpit avionics, such as a heads-up display (HUD), up-front control panel (UFCP), three-colour multi-function displays (MFD) and hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) to replicate today's high-tech frontline aircraft.
Expected to replace the Pacific Aerospace CT-4E airtrainer in the primary phase of the RNZAF wings course and flight instructor course (FIC), and the Beechcraft King Air B200 in the advanced phase of the wings course, the aircraft will also be flown by the RNZAF's formation aerobatic display team.
Both the T-6C aircraft and simulators will be based at RNZAF Base Ohakea, to support primary through to advanced aircrew training prior to advancing to operational squadrons or FIC.
Delivery of the first four aircraft will take place in November 2014, when RNZAF will begin validation flying in preparation for integrating the aircraft into pilot training by mid-2015.
All 11 T-6C aircraft are scheduled to be handed over to RNZAF by mid-2015.
Image: A T-6C Texan II turboprop military training in Royal New Zealand Air Force paint scheme. Photo: © Beechcraft Corporation.