Marshall Aerospace is proposing a significant upgrade for the RAF’s Tucano trainer, in conjunction with the original manufacturer, Bombardier subsidiary Short Brothers.
The basis of the upgrade is a new cockpit that would bring the Tucano in line with other trainer offerings. The CMC Electronics Cockpit 4000 integrated avionics suite has been chosen, providing a range of advanced features that mirror those of modern combat aircraft. The cockpit is on display at Marshall’s stand (Hall 4 Stand A12).
Along with the new cockpit, Marshall and Shorts are offering further upgrade options for the Mk 2 Tucano, including engine modifications for increased power and aerodynamic refinements that would increase maximum speed to 300 KIAS. Based on fatigue tests carried out by Shorts, the upgraded aircraft can be offered with more than 8,000 hours of life.
The UK Disposal Services Agency currently has 15 ex-RAF Tucanos available for sale, and there are 40 more being held in long-term storage. Due to delays in the military flying training system, the RAF recently announced that it will delay the Tucano’s out-of-service date from 2010 to at least 2012, and possibly longer. Marshall highlights its proposal’s compatibility with the RAF’s new Hawk Mk 128 advanced trainers and the Typhoon fighter.