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First US Navy T-54A training aircraft delivery arrives

23rd April 2024 - 10:54 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The T-54A can begin replacing the T-44C Pegasus aircraft within the next six months. (Photo: US DoD)

Arrival of the first two T-54A multi-engine training system aircraft will allow the US Navy to begin the decommissioning process of its ageing T-44C Pegasus aircraft on schedule.

The US Navy (USN) received the first two T-54A multi-engine training system aircraft at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.

The USN has selected the aircraft as part of the Multi-Engine Training System (METS) programme. Under a US$113 million contract, 10 aircraft were ordered in February 2023, but up to 64 units could be procured with contract options worth up to a total of $667.2 million.

According to the FY2023 US defence budget, the flyway unit cost of the T-54A was around $9.2 million.

With deliveries on track, the T-54A can begin replacing the T-44C Pegasus aircraft within the next six months. The new aeroplanes will provide advanced instrument and asymmetric engine handling training to student naval aviators selected for multi-engine fleet communities.

The turboprop T-54A has a length of 13.4m, a height of 4.5m and a wingspan of 17.65m. It is powered by two P&W PT6A-52 engines, with a maximum take-off weight of 5670kg and nine occupants. The aircraft features a tricycle landing gear and a reconfigurable cargo bay in the cabin.

Student naval aviators selected for multi-engine fleet communities will be provided advanced instrument and asymmetric engine handling training on the T-54A.

METS will be able to capture data that will feed into Conditioned-Based Maintenance Plus, a capability that enables the USN to monitor aircraft health over time to facilitate improved maintenance planning and efficiency – a trend that has been increasingly prevalent among newly built training jets.

Among Five Eyes nations, counterparts to the T-44 have been in operation, with most of them nearing retirement dates. It has only been the US and the UK, however, that have put forward plans for their replacement.

The Shephard News Team

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