New Zealand is on the verge of issuing a tender for a new military pilot training capability, to replace its Pacific Aerospace CT-4E and Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft.

"The requirement for a modernised pilot training system with suitable aircraft is clear and the cabinet has agreed to the next step in the process, with the Ministry of Defence to issue a request for tender," says defence minister Jonathan Coleman.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force uses the CT-4E for primary stage training, while King Airs are used for advanced training. The service life of its 13 CT-4Es is due to end in 2018, while a lease deal for the King Airs will also expire during the same year. Flightglobal's MiliCAS database shows that four of the latter type are currently in use.

"The tender being offered is to supply a new permanent pilot training capability including aircraft [leased or owned], a simulator package, and a maintenance and support package," says Coleman.

"We have invested in a modern generation of new and upgraded aircraft and helicopters. The air force's entire operational fleet is being replaced or upgraded, including modern avionics and cockpits. The tools to develop the flying standards of our trainee pilots are also required."

Coleman says the tender will be issued "in the next few days".

Source: Flight International