UAE Decision on Future Trainers Imminent

 - November 20, 2007, 4:50 AM

While record-breaking orders for airliners were announced, the just-completed Dubai Air Show, held from November 11 to 15, offered no big news for the defense industry. However, there were important developments across the border in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE Air Force is close to making important decisions about its future pilot training system. AIN expects a decision on both basic and advanced trainers early next year [UAE NEARS DECISION FOR JET TRAINERS]. Now that the BAE Systems Hawk has been eliminated, it’s a straight fight between the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and the Korean T-50, both of which are seeking an export breakthrough. The UAE’s choice between these two very different solutions could be significant for upcoming evaluations elsewhere–notably in Singapore. AIN carried the latest news on the M-346 development in its Monday edition at Dubai [M-346 GETS LIGHTER, FASTER, MORE AGILE]. We’ll review the T-50 again during the Singapore Air Show. In the basic trainer contest, the UAE recently eliminated the Embraer Super Tucano, and will make a final choice between the Alenia Aermacchi M-311 and the Pilatus PC-21.