Field Aerospace Completes 21 Combat Systems Officer T-1A Upgrades for US Air Force

Field Aerospace has completed upgrades to over 50 Combat Systems Officer (CSO) and Special Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) T-1A aircraft and 14 simulators on time and on budget for the USAF, as part of the Air Force Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) contract to upgrade the fleet of 178 T-1As over a period of seven years. Field Aerospace’s modernization includes updates to the avionics suite and adds Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) Out, eliminating avionics obsolescence issues. Field Aerospace was selected as prime contractor and teamed with subcontractors Collins Aerospace, FlightSafety International, HEBCO and Nextant Aerospace to bring advanced capabilities to the next generation of US Air Force pilots.

The Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk is a twin-engined jet aircraft used by the United States Air Force for advanced pilot training. The swept-wing T-1A is a military version of the Beechjet/Hawker 400A. T-1A students go on to fly airlift and tanker aircraft. The T-400 is a similar version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The T-1A Jayhawk is a medium-range, twin-engine jet trainer used in the advanced phase of Air Force Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training for students selected to fly strategic/tactical airlift or tanker aircraft. It is used also for training Air Force Combat Systems Officers in high and low level flight procedures during the advanced phase of training. It has cockpit seating for an instructor and two students and is powered by twin turbofan engines capable of an operating speed of Mach .78. The T-1A differs from its commercial counterpart with structural enhancements that provide for a large number of landings per flight hour, increased bird strike resistance and an additional fuselage fuel tank.

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U.S. Air Force Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk
U.S. Air Force Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk

The first FRP modification will be the eighth of 177 trainers slated for the upgrade. The FAA approved the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the flight deck modernization on May 10, 2019. Last spring, the USAF awarded Field Aerospace the contract to modernize the avionics on the entire T-1A trainer fleet plus 30 training devices. Field Aerospace is the prime contractor for this program, which includes subcontractors Nextant Aerospace, Collins Aerospace, FlightSafety International, and HEBCO. The modernization updates the trainers to the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21TM system and enables the T-1A fleet to meet the FAA’s ADS-B Out mandate to support the standing requirement to access the National Airspace System. The T-1A is a medium-range, twin-engine jet used for advanced-phase airlift and tanker pilot training. Most of the T-1A fleet supports SUPT, with the balance used for CSO training. They are stationed at five U.S. bases.

Field Aerospace is an SBA-qualified small business operating in the U.S. (Field Aerospace) and Canada (Field Aviation). For more than 70 years, Field has been making ordinary aircraft extraordinary for commercial and military customers all over the world. Field is recognized as an industry leader in the design, integration, manufacture, installation, flight test, and certification of interior and exterior aircraft modifications and avionics upgrade programs. An award-winning avionics equipment dealer and authorized service center, Field offers aviation-related contractor logistics support and program management office support to the U.S. military; Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) modifications for special mission and maritime applications; and aerospace parts manufacturing and subassembly services.

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