Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft King Air 260 has been chosen as the new US Navy Multi-engine Training System (METS).
The new contract, with the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), is for up to 64 King Air 260 aircraft, which will be known as the T-54A.
The initial Lot I award will procure 10 new Beechcraft King Air 260 commercial aircraft and associated support.
Lot II and Lot III, if the options are exercised, would each procure up to 27 aircraft with plane deliveries planned from 2024 to 2026.
The Beechcraft King Air 260 will replace the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) fleet of T-44C Pegasus aircraft which have been in service since 1977.
“We are honored the US Navy has again selected the Beechcraft King Air to fulfill its training needs,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, special missions sales for Textron Aviation. “METS will modernize multi-engine aircraft training at CNATRA, providing an intermediate and advanced training platform for U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard aviators.”
METS specific capabilities include factory options for TACAN (Air to Air), angle of attack (AOA), V/UHF radio, digital audio system, engine trend monitoring, condition-based maintenance plus, observer/jump seat, passenger mission seats, and full-face oxygen masks.
“With its advanced technology, the new METS platform will be more representative of fleet aircraft,” said Capt. Holly Shoger, naval undergraduate flight training systems program office program manager. “The T-54A will include an updated avionics suite, automation qualities, and virtual reality and augmented reality devices to better prepare students for the advanced aircraft they will fly in the fleet.”