Field Aerospace has performed the first flights of a Hawker 400-derived T-1A Jayhawk trainer to have been equipped with an updated avionics suite for the US Air Force (USAF).

"The first fully modified aircraft flew two successful consecutive check flights," the company says, with these performed from its Oklahoma City facility on 22 March.

T-1A Jayhawk - Field Aerospace

Field Aerospace

Key elements of the upgrade include integrating Collins Aerospace's Pro Line 21 avionics equipment and adding an automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast out capability, to bring the type in line with US Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Brian Love, Field Aerospace's chief commercial officer, describes the initial flight-test activity as "a very important step toward providing future USAF aircrew with access to modern avionics for aviation training and simulation".

As prime contractor, the company will lead a modernisation activity on the service's entire fleet of 178 T-1As, which are used during combat system officer and specialised undergraduate pilot training. Thirty training devices will also be updated under the activity, which also involves FlightSafety International, HEBCO and Nextant Aerospace.

Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows that the USAF's Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-powered T-1A twinjets are aged between 21 and 27 years.