Furthermore he added, “The Jetstream has an exemplary service record and has delivered everything that has been asked of it. Despite 30 years of service, we still routinely have seven out of the seven aircraft available to fly on the line each day (the other two Jetstreams are in second line servicing) and so the squadron’s effort can be focussed entirely on training the ab initio students. In times when we read about military equipment not performing well it is pleasantly surprising to be part of a unit whose military equipment does everything asked of it, and does it well.
“With the benchmark set so high, the replacement aircraft will have a lot to live up to. The Jetstream allows us to establish all of the fundamental principles of being an Observer and assess whether the student has the ability and capacity to succeed on the front line in Merlin, Lynx or Sea King helicopters. Unfortunately the cost of keeping the Jetstreams up to standard is becoming prohibitive and so will be replaced. Although based on an established platform, the King Air 350ER, the Navy’s new aircraft, will be fitted with many of the computer based systems the students will find in the front line aircraft. Seen by many as being much more efficient, we are optimistic for the future; however, we didn’t get to be old and senior Observers by relying on technology and will make sure that the new aircraft lives up to the standards set by the old; not an easy task.”
The Jetstream T MK2 reaches its planned out of service date in March 2011 and will be replaced by a new incremental three-stage training approach, culminating in training at Culdrose on four new Beech B350ER King Air aircraft which will have radar and tactical mission training systems installed.
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is the premier global defence, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008.
A team from BAE Systems’ Regional Aircraft business at Prestwick in Scotland will provide engineering expertise on powerplant, pylon, nacelle, auxiliary power units and fuel systems.
Value of business won in 12 months reaches £35 million from seven airlines
The company will perform scheduled inspections, along with required repairs, modifications and logistical support, for more than 300 aircraft operated by the Chief of Naval Air Training.
Under the LEP the airframe life limit of the aircraft will be raised from the current 45,000 landings to 67,000 landings.