Northrop Grumman has opened a new AC-208 Training Center of Excellence for aircraft in Fort Worth, Texas, US.

The facility features a 5,000ft² custom-built classroom space located at Meacham Airport in Fort Worth.

The centre has been designed to provide partner nations with instructional classroom activities, in addition to initial aircrew and maintenance training on the upgraded AC-208 Eliminator aircraft.

Northrop Grumman Defence Electronic Systems vice-president and general manager Cary Ralston said: “The opening of the AC-208 Training Center of Excellence demonstrates Northrop Grumman’s ongoing commitment to our full-service contractor logistic services (CLS) programme, which enables partner nations to achieve proficiency and critical capabilities.

“Once graduated, aircrew members from the partner nations will be fully trained to operate the AC-208 Eliminator reconnaissance and ground attack aircraft.”

“Our experienced and talented personnel have been providing a variety of CLS services, including maintenance and operations training, for over 15 years.”

The company provides its partner nations with an integrated training programme, which includes a range of services such as initial site set-up, onsite training and instructional classroom activities, as well as mission system and platform maintenance and operations.

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Training sessions will initially be conducted for approximately four months and include pilot and mission system operator training.

Once graduated, aircrew members from the partner nations will be fully trained to operate the AC-208 Eliminator reconnaissance and ground attack aircraft.

The aircraft offers a highly-capable and cost-effective reconnaissance and ground attack capability with a critical offensive and operational overwatch capability in the counter-insurgency (COIN) fight.

A modified version of AC-208 Armed Caravan, the AC-208 Eliminator aircraft can locate, fix, identify, track, target and engage emerging and time-sensitive targets.

Equipped with 2.75in guided rockets and / or AGM-114 Hellfire missile payload, the aircraft features an electro-optical, laser-equipped targeting system, as well as air-to-ground and air-to-air communications to provide both day and night reconnaissance capabilities.