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US aircraft upgrade specialist Field Aerospace recently completed its work on the Avionics Modification Program (AMP) for the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) T-1A Jayhawk twin-engine jet trainer, the company announced on 21 March 2023.

The goal of the AMP is to address avionics obsolescence issues in order to increase availability and decrease sustainment costs of the T-1A fleet.

The project was managed out of Tinker Air Force Base for the USAF’s Air Education and Training Command (AETC). The work was performed at Field Aerospace’s facility in Oklahoma City. A total of 73 T-1As were modified, making this the largest modification line completed by Field Aerospace to date. The final aircraft returned to its home station in January 2023, the company noted.

The T-1A Jayhawk is a medium-range twin-engine jet trainer used by AETC to train future pilots of USAF airlift and tanker aircraft, including the KC-135, KC-10, KC-46 and C-130. The project included a full avionics upgrade and required updating an existing Beechjet 400A Federal Aviation Administration Supplemental Type Certificate to accommodate the design differences between the commercial aircraft and the USAF T-1A.

A USAF T-1A Jayhawk outside the hangar at Field Aerospace’s facility in Oklahoma City. The company’s work on the T-1A’s Avionics Modification Program has been completed. (Photo: Field Aerospace)

“This was a great opportunity for us,” Paul Berry, T-1A Program Manager, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “We had done this type of work before, but not for the T-1A. Our team quickly identified opportunities for improving the process and delivered quality work, on time and on budget for our USAF customer.”

Field Aerospace performed prototype, low-rate initial production, and full-rate production AMP installations. At the programme’s peak, the company had nine T-1As on site being modified at the same time.

As the prime contractor, Field Aerospace led a team that included Rockwell Collins, Nextant Aerospace, and Flight Safety International as subcontractors.

Peter Felstead