Wichita-based Global Aviation Technologies (GAT) has received the first of 19 U.S. Air Force Learjets that it will update with new avionics. The C-21As, which are the military version of Learjet 35A, will receive ADS-B Out, FANS-1/A and electronic flight information systems so the aircraft can operate under NextGen. GAT will hire additional aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians by the end of the year to accommodate this project.
“We are proud to contribute to the further utilization of these Wichita-built airplanes,” said GAT v-p of business development Woody Cottner. “We’ll be updating the avionics to take full advantage of the advances in electronic flight management. We’re also very familiar with the Learjet airframe and its performance and durability, so this effort is both economical and practical on the part of the U.S. Air Force, and we’re very pleased to be a part of it for that reason, too.”
GAT’s contract, which is valued at $32.2 million, entails replacing original analog instruments with electronic upgrades and includes Universal Avionics EFI-890R LCD screens, Universal UNS-1FW Waas/SBAS navigation units, Honeywell WU-880 weather radars and Rockwell Collins Nxtlink ICS-220A Iridium communications systems that add datalink capability.
The company also recently announced that it will develop an upgraded version of the Beechcraft Premier 1A. Known as the Premier Elite, the aircraft will receive airframe, aerodynamic and interior upgrades, as well as optional avionics.