The RAF tested the Texan T1 training aircraft, last week, for the first time. The Beechcraft Texan T MK1 is slated to take over the basic fast jet training role currently fulfilled by the Tucano.
The aircraft, also known as the T-6A Texan II, is also used by the US Air Force, the US Navy and US Marine Corps for training.
Continuing the precedent set by the Tucano for employing a tandem-seat turboprop basic trainer, the Texan II replaces the analog cockpit of the earlier machine with a digital glass cockpit featuring modern avionics.
The aircraft’s mission system is capable of generating simulated air-to-air targets and scoring against the release of simulated air-to-ground ordnance. The T1 can simulate missions in fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft, including the F-35 Lightning and Typhoon.
Britain is investing $1.6 billion in fixed-wing aircraft training under the Military Flight Training System to train and prepare junior pilots for the frontline.