US Navy awards Textron with order for 64 King Air turboprops

Aircraft with the military designation T-54A will be used for pilot training

Textron Aviation Group announced on Thursday that it has been awarded a US Navy contract to supply up to 64 Beechcraft King Air 260 turboprops.

The aircraft, which in the military designation will be called the T-54A, are destined for the Multi-Engine Training System (METS) program of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

According to the manufacturer, the first batch of aircraft comprises 10 aircraft, in addition to support services. Another two batches, each with up to 27 aircraft, are purchase options that can be exercised by the US Navy. T-54A deliveries are planned to take place between 2024 and 2026.

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“We are honored the U.S. Navy has again selected the Beechcraft King Air to fulfill its training needs,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president of Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation.

King Air 260 cabin (TA)

Replacement of the T-44 Pegasus

The King Air 260 will replace the aging fleet of T-44C Pegasus aircraft, a military training variant based on the King Air 90 that has been in service with the US Navy since 1977.

The new T-54As will serve in the intermediate training of US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard pilots who will fly P-8, EP-3, KC-130, E-6, E-2 and swing rotor models CMV-22, CV-22 and MV-22.

The T-44A Pegasus (USN)

Some of the specific features of the T-54A are a factory options for TACAN (Air to Air), angle of attack (AOA), V/UHF radio, digital audio system, engine trend monitoring, condition based maintenance plus, observer/jump seat, passenger mission seats, and full-face oxygen masks.

“With its advanced technology, the new METS platform will be more representative of fleet aircraft,” said Captain Holly Shoger, program manager, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273).

“The T-54A will include an updated avionics suite, automation qualities, and virtual reality and augmented reality devices to better prepare students for the advanced aircraft they will fly in the fleet.”


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