Airbus revealed a jet trainer for the Spanish Air Force to replace the F-5 advanced training fleet. (Airbus)
Airbus revealed a trainer jet program for the Spanish Air Force this month that will replace the current F-5 advanced training aircraft fleet with growth potential to be the future trainer aircraft of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and New Generation Fighter (NGF), according to a press document on the aircraft. It will also create industry investment in the Spanish defense and private sectors.
The Airbus Future Jet Trainer (AFJT) will be a flexible trainer aircraft covering the pilot training phases III and IV, a significant part of the training currently performed in the operational conversion units (OCUs), according to Airbus. It will include advanced avionics capable of simulating current and future complex scenarios as a baseline with growth potential for future missions.
The Airbus Future Jet Trainer (AFJT) will be a flexible trainer aircraft covering the pilot training phases III and IV, a significant part of the training currently performed in the operational conversion units (OCUs). (Airbus)
“The AFJT is based on the principles of simplicity, robustness, and versatility to provide the Spanish Air Force with the most modern, highly operational, reliable, and safe advanced trainer aircraft,” Airbus said in a press document provided to Aviation Today.
The trainer aircraft will use integrated training solutions with aircraft-GBTS interconnectivity and live, virtual, and constructive training (LVC). The AFJT will include state-of-the-art human machine interface (HMI) and systems for pilot training for future fifth generation platforms, according to Airbus.
The AFJT’s growth capabilities could allow for its use in light attack sparring, acrobatic flights (“Patrulla Águila”), and as a technology demonstrator. It will also feature a power-to-weight ratio equivalent to top of the line fighters.
The AFJT would provide the Spanish Air Force with the most modern, highly operational, reliable, and safe advanced trainer aircraft. (Airbus)
The program is led by Airbus, but they are hoping to expand this program into a nation-wide effort. The AFJT would participate in national and international programs like the C295, EF2000, A400M.
“The AFJT Program would strengthen the capabilities of the Spanish national aerospace and defense industry, from the large leading companies developing complete systems to specialized suppliers and smaller auxiliary industry,” Airbus said in a press statement.
Some of the main capabilities supplied by Spanish aerospace and defense suppliers that could be used for the AFJT include Indra for flight simulators and systems, Tecnobit for communications systems and pilot interfaces, ITP Aero for engines, CESA for landing gear and actuators, and GMV for software and flight systems.
The program would also increase current engineering and manufacturing capabilities in the Spanish aeronautical sector and position the AFJT for future programs like FCAS and the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE PRAS).
The Spanish economy would benefit from the AFJT program through investment, high-quality employment, taxes, and fiscal contributions.
“The AFJT program would return a large part of the investment, thanks to the taxes and fiscal contributions, as well as the new opportunities in other sectors by the know-how, technologies and capabilities both consolidated and developed by the AFJT, strengthening the national economy in the medium and long term,” Airbus said in a press statement.