RAF’s Texan T1 completes maiden flight
The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Texan T1 training aircraft has completed its first flight at RAF Valley on the island of Anglesey, Wales, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 22 February.
The MoD is investing £1.2 billion in fixed-wing aircraft training under the Military Flight Training System (MFTS) programme that has been designed to train and prepare junior pilots for the frontline. Under the MFTS, fighter pilots will begin training on the Prefect aircraft, move on to the Texan and finish on the Hawk T2 aircraft.
The Texan T1 aircraft will replace the Tucano in the fast jet training programme. The aircraft’s improved capabilities over its predecessor include the ability to simulate missions in both fourth and fifth generation aircraft such as the F35 Lightning and Typhoon fast jets.
Stuart Andrew, Defence Minister, UK, said: ‘It’s crucial that our fighter pilots of the future train on the very best equipment before reaching the front line to protect UK airspace at home and defend our interests abroad.
‘The introduction of the Texan T1 into one of NATO’s most advanced fighter pilot training programmes demonstrates the RAF’s commitment to investing in world-leading technology to maintain a military advantage over our adversaries.’
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