Beechcraft to upgrade ADS-B satellite navigation and tracking avionics on T-6 trainer aircraft

Hawker Beechcraft experts in Military avionics will supply 255 air navigation and tracking systems that are satellite-based to the United States Navy for their turboprop trainer aircraft known as the Army T-6 Texan 2. This will be under an agreement of an eight-million-dollar order.

Naval Air Systems Command officials stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station have requested that Beechcraft provide automatic dependent surveillance broadcast kits (ADS-B) for both the 251 Navy T-6 aircraft and 4 Army T-6 Aircraft.

The automatic dependent surveillance broadcast uses the GPS receiver to regulate the aircraft’s position. After doing so, the aircraft’s system then broadcasts its position automatically, which allows for air traffic controllers and other planes to track the location. After January 1, 2012, the FAA will require all airplanes flying above 18,000 feet to use the automatic dependent surveillance broadcast.

The Beechcraft T-6 Texan 2 is a turboprop aircraft with a single engine, and is based on the PC-9 turboprop by Pilatus. This plane helps instruct new United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps pilots who will in time move up into higher performing jets. The Beechcraft T-6 Texan substitutes the Cessna T-37B for the U.S. Airforce, and the T-34C Turbo Mentor for the Navy. Beechcraft was acquired by Textron Inc in 2014.

An order that was placed in November 2017 maneuvers an option on a three point seven million dollar contract the United States Navy granted to Beechcraft in 2015. This granted Beechcraft to install automatic dependent surveillance broadcast kits on both Army and Navy T-6 primary trainer aircrafts. The T-6 is manufactured by Beechcraft and is also seen as the only option as a responsible for the upgrade.

In order to install ADS-B systems onto the T-6, the GPS card assembly must be upgraded with a new Space Based Augmentation System and Wide Area Augmentation System GPS card. This also includes replacing different Beechcraft parts, such as the Mode S transponder and the antenna belonging to the GPS. This new upgrade will also include software updates to the T-6 flight management system.


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