Grob Aircraft revealed another military customer for the G 120TP turboprop trainer. The Mexican air force has ordered 25 and optioned another 15 in a deal worth about $110 million including ground-based training aids. Indonesia, Argentina and Kenya previously selected the German-built aircraft.
Powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-17B turboprop, the G 120TP is fitted with lightweight Martin Baker Mk17 ejection seats, and HOTAS controls. The side-by-side G 120TP cockpit now offers a synthetic training environment via two of the four large electronic flight displays in the cockpit. This Virtual Tactical Training (VTT) system can simulate radar, threat warning, tactical situation display, stores management and other combat aircraft features. It was developed in cooperation with Genesys Aerosystems, a new entity that has been formed by a combination of cockpit avionics specialist Chelton Flight Systems and autopilot specialist S-TEC, both owned by Cobham until a management buyout last April.
GrobAircraft CEO Andre Hiebeler told AIN that the VTT development, together with the high performance of the G 120TP airframe, provides a solution that could train military pilots as far as their entry into advanced jet training. The aircraft has been selected by two of the three teams bidding for the next stage of the UK’s Military Flying Training System (MFTS). However, both teams are proposing that students graduate from the G 120TP to the Beechcraft T-6C for basic flight training before proceeding to the advanced stage.
Grob has also upgraded its unique Egrett high-altitude long-endurance turboprop with advanced cockpit avionics from Genesys. The company is aiming to develop a surveillance services business with the aircraft, which is now designated G 520NG.