WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Two Beechcraft T-6C trainer aircraft for the Royal New Zealand Air Force have arrived in the country and will be delivered to the service in October.
The Ministry of Defense said the two planes are the first two of 11 aircraft ordered and the remainder will be arrive in the country by mid-2015.
"It is great to see the first T-6C aircraft arrive in New Zealand just seven months after Beechcraft Defense Company was awarded the contract to deliver a new effective military pilot training system," said Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman.
"This project is a good example of smart and efficient procurement. The $154 million pilot training package will deliver a modern reliable training system ensuring our military pilots are trained to the highest performance and safety standards."
"The T-6C aircraft has a proven track record with other militaries, and it will be a great addition to our Air Force capability. The T-6C will provide the basic training for all military pilots to prepare them for the Air Force's new and upgraded aircraft," he said.
New Zealand's fleet of T-6Cs are scheduled to be operational for pilot training by 2016.
New Zealand's pilot training system using the T-6C includes ground simulators, and classroom-and computer-based training packages. Flight simulators and ground-based training devices are being supplied and installed by CAE Simulation.
Maintenance and support for the trainers is being provided by CAE Australia and NZ Safe Air Limited.