Manufacturers sharpen up for Javelin very light jet production

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Aviation Technology Group and Israel Aerospace Industries plan to begin assembly of the first conforming test aircraft for certification of the Javelin Mk10 very light jet next year. Around $200 million of funding is being raised in the USA through Citigroup bank.

"The roadshow that began in June has created great interest among financial and strategic partners and we can be sure about the next phase of the programme," says an IAI source.

ATG will build the civil Mk10 VLJ and both companies plan to assemble the military Mk20 basic trainer and Mk30 advanced trainer variants.

The Mk20 version will be identical in size to the Mk10, but with ejection seats and military avionics. Both will be powered by a pair of  1,750lb-thrust (7.8kN) Williams FJ33-4 engines.

The $6 million Mk20 is intended to replace the Israeli air force's Zukit, a local version of the French Fouga Magister trainer, and is being offered to Australia and the USA.

ATG says it has deposits on eight Mk20 trainers from an undisclosed country.

The $9 million Mk30 is designed to replace trainers such as the McDonnell Douglas TA-4, Northrop T-38 and Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet. More powerful engines will require changes to the aft fuselage. The Mk30 is being offered to Singapore.