The Greek Air force trainer evaluation team is expected to select a new basic trainer by the end of the year. The Raytheon T-6A Texan II, the Pilatus PC-9G and the Embraer Super Tucano are the shortlisted contenders battling for an order involving at least 50 aircraft. A contract is likely to be signed next year.

Pilatus is offering the improved PC-9G, which has "over 23 improvements", including unspecified cockpit changes and improved birdstrike protection.

Embraer has offered the basic Super Tucano to meet the trainer requirement, with a scaled down version of the Elbit avionics suite under development for the Brazilian air force's AL-X armed Super Tucano variant. The suite features a headup display, two large-format, liquid-crystal, multifunction displays and dual mission computers.

Greece has also recently completed its assessment of Raytheon Aircraft's T-6A Texan II - a variant of the PC-9.

The US company says that it has had interest from "other countries" in the T-6A, but Canada is the only export customer, and will use it in the Nato Flying Training in Canada programme.

The second T-6A made its first flight at Wichita on 2 September and will be joined shortly in the certification programme by the third. Certification is expected next January, with delivery of the first production aircraft to the US Air Force in May 1999.

Source: Flight International