Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has delivered the first of 55 Turkish Air Force (TAF) upgraded T-38M jet trainers to the service. TAI completed two prototypes and is upgrading three more aircraft. The other 50 will be modified at a TAF depot over the next three years, with TAI’s assistance.
The avionics modernization program was designed by TAI and includes 14 new features, including equipment supplied by Turkish defense companies Aselsan and Havelsan. The front cockpit has a head-up display, and both cockpits have upfront controllers and two large head-down displays.
The upgrade also extends to ground-based training, with a new simulator, cockpit procedures trainer and computer-based learning. According to a presentation at the recent Military Flight Training conference in London organized by Defence IQ, the TAF will take advantage of the T-38M’s improved avionics to save 12 sorties in its advanced flying training syllabus. The aircraft will also take over 20 fighter lead-in training sorties that are currently flown in F-5s.