Javelin joins in the hunt for military training contracts
Aviation Technology Group, the Colorado-based developer of the Javelin personal jet, and Israel Aircraft Industries have initiated detailed design work on two variants of the airplane intended to serve the world military training market.
Avi Maor, international marketing manager for IAI in Tel Aviv, said the Mk20 and Mk30 versions of the Javelin, currently under development, will be given the green light for production pending finalization of certain design parameters. The Mk20 would be a basically unchanged version of the civil Javelin, except for the addition of a head-up display. The more capable Mk30 would have an entirely new three-display avionics system developed by IAI as well as more powerful engines, he said.
Named the Advanced Jet Trainer, the airplane was first revealed by ATG and IAI at last fall’s National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas. IAI is displaying a Javelin mockup in the static area just outside its chalet. Maor said the trainer versions of the jet could find broad appeal with militaries around the globe.
“The beauty of the Advanced Jet Trainer is that it is almost a commercial-off-the-shelf item,” Maor said. “There are many countries with older training aircraft that cannot afford massive upgrade programs like those occurring now for the T-38 in the U.S. For these customers, the Mk20 and Mk30 can serve their training needs for a low price.”
A decision on engines for the Mk30 will be made soon, Maor said, adding that both models would be training aircraft only and not used in other military roles. The Mk20 will fly with a pair of Williams International FJ33-4-15M turbofan engines equipped with inverted oil systems to permit aerobatics.
Aviation Technology Group rolled out the prototype Javelin executive jet on May 5 and is preparing to fly the aircraft later this year. Initial power up of major electrical and avionics systems and major structural testing reportedly have been successfully completed. ATG said it has received “approximately 100” orders for the airplane. The company plans to build the Javelin in New Mexico. The military trainer version would then go to IAI in Israel for integration of additional hardware.
First shipments of the civil Javelin–which resembles a mini T-38 with a scaled-down Grumman F-14 Tomcat empennage–are scheduled for late 2007, following what is expected to be a two-year certification program. No Javelin delivery positions are available before mid-2009, according to ATG, which talks of annual output reaching 70-plus aircraft by the second year of production. Maor said deliveries of the Mk20 would begin sometime in 2008 and be followed by deliveries of the Mk30 in 2009 or 2010. Price for the military trainer versions are expected to be in the range of $5 million to $10 million, Maor said.