New Zealand orders Beechcraft trainers

Jan. 27, 2014 at 3:32 PM   |   Comments

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- New Zealand's Ministry of Defense has given Beechcraft Defense Co. a $123 million contract for trainer aircraft and related pilot training systems.

The award covers 11 T-6C aircraft to be assembled in Wichita, Kan., flight simulators and other ground based training devices CAE Simulation (USA), a subcontractor to Beechcraft, and maintenance and support for the aircraft and simulators from CAE Australia and Safe Air Ltd. of New Zealand for 30 years.

Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman has congratulated Beechcraft and associated companies on being selected to supply the New Zealand military's new pilot training capability.

"This modern, safe and reliable pilot training system will enable our military pilots to be trained to the highest standards, and is in line with the training systems used in Australia, the U.K., the U.S. and Canada," Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman was quoted as saying by the ministry.

"The T-6C has a proven track record in service with other militaries, and meets the [New Zeland military's] performance and safety standards."

New Zealand's military pilots are currently trained on CT-4E air trainers and turbo-prop King Air B200s. The service life of the CT-4Es is due to end in 2018, and the King Air B200s lease expires in 2018.

Coleman said the new trainer system is expected to be operational in early 2016.

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