On behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence, the Ascent consortium recently selected the Beechcraft T-6C as the aircraft to complement the BAE Systems Hawk T2 in the training pipeline to conduct fixed wing flight training for the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Navy (RN) and Army Air Corp pilots.
The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy now join the United States Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force as operators of the Beechcraft T-6C which will be used to train pilots in readiness for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) recently took delivery of its fleet of T-6C aircraft and has commenced the transition of this platform into training operations. As testament to the pedigree of the T-6C’s design, the NZDF has already extended the planned life of type for their fleet beyond the required 20 years out to 30 years.
27 Air Forces globally now depend on the T-6C to graduate in excess of 2,250 pilots each year. In addition, four of the ‘Five Eyes’ nations (UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) are now operating the Beechcraft T-6 military trainer in their undergraduate pilot training systems.
Beechcraft’s T-6C has been put forward as the platform of choice for BAE Systems Australia’s Air5428 bid to support the Australian Defence Force’s future pilot training system.
BAE Systems Director Aerospace, Steve Drury, said: “We believe only one aircraft is an ideal fit for both the basic and advanced training phases, and that is Beechcraft’s T6-C. Our confidence in this has been reinforced by the UK’s selection of the T-6C as the trainer of choice for their next generation of pilots.”