Thursday, February 16, 2023

Navy awards contract for up to 64 King Air 260 aircraft

Textron Aviation announced Thursday it has been awarded the Multi-Engine Training System (METS) contract by Naval Air Systems Command.

The contract award is for up to 64 King Air 260 aircraft, which will be known as the T-54A. The initial Lot I award will procure 10 new Beechcraft King Air 260 commercial aircraft and associated support. Lot II and Lot III, if the options are exercised, would each procure up to 27 aircraft. Aircraft deliveries are planned from 2024 to 2026.

The Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft acquired under the METS contract will replace the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) fleet of T-44C Pegasus aircraft. The T-44C Pegasus aircraft is a variant of the twin-engine and pressurized Beechcraft King Air 90. The T-44 has been in service since 1977.

“METS will modernize multi-engine aircraft training at CNATRA, providing an intermediate and advanced training platform for U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviators into the P-8, EP-3, KC-130, E-6, E-2, CMV-22, CV-22, and MV-22 aircraft,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Missions Sales for Textron Aviation.

“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,” said Navy Capt. Holly Shoger, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office.

The King Air 260 METS aircraft will be delivered in a fully compliant, METS mission-ready configuration from Textron Aviation’s King Air production line in Wichita, Kansas.

More than 7,700 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964.

The King Air 260 cockpit features the Innovative Solutions & Support ThrustSense Autothrottle system, which supports pilots in their critical mission of delivering people or cargo by automatically managing engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, landing, and go-around phases of flight. This enhancement reduces pilot workload and is designed to prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp, and over-torque conditions.

The King Air 260 cockpit also features a digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort. The pressurization gauges have been integrated with the powerful Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.

The aircraft includes the Collins Multi-Scan RTA-4112 weather radar, providing pilots with a fully automatic system that is optimized to detect short, mid, and long-range weather.

The King Air 260 was first introduced in December 2020.

King Air 360

The U.S. Army Contracting Command-Redstone in Huntsville, Ala., announced plans earlier this month they plan to award a sole source five-year contract to Textron Aviation for the initial purchase of two King Air 360 aircraft for the country of Peru.

The contract will include one 12-month base period and four 12-month ordering periods for the procurement of King Air Series B200 and B300 and Cessna C208B and C408 to support upcoming Foreign Military Sales cases.

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