Alenia Aermacchi is demonstrating to potential customers the latest version of its SF-260TP primary and basic trainer with a new glass cockpit, enhanced multi-spectral vision system and an upgraded air-conditioning system, while completing the final stage of tests.
More than 900 SF-260s have been sold worldwide, with the Finmeccanica company's most recent deal for 12 of the aircraft having already been completed with an undisclosed air force.
The SF-260TP has been upgraded with a digital glass cockpit based on a customised version of US company Avidyne's latest avionics suite. The system includes two 6 x 8in (15 x 20cm), high-resolution LCD displays and a single control/display unit.
The two integrated flight displays feature a range of functions, including the presentation of primary flight data to the pilots, radio-guided navigation and GPS autonomous navigation, plus digital moving map, a flight-management system, an aircraft checklist display and downloading of flight data for post-flight debriefs, Alenia Aermacchi says.
The company has also introduced an enhanced vision system, including an infrared/TV camera installed under the left wing leading edge, with images displayed on the new cockpit displays, giving pilots better visibility at night and in adverse weather conditions.
The new SF-260TP version also incorporates a modern air-conditioning system with a high-cooling capability, to enhance crew comfort. The system is completely electrical and is operated via a digital control display on the instrument panel.
Images released by Alenia Aermacchi show the new aircraft can be disassembled and packed for transport inside the cargo compartment of its C-27J Spartan tactical transport. The company late last year disclosed that it had demonstrated an upgraded version of the trainer in the Middle East.
Flightglobal's MiliCAS database records a total of 254 SF-260s as being in the active inventories of 16 nations. Download our free World Air Forces directory 2013 for a full listing.