The Israeli air force has opened up its competition to replace ageing Fouga C170 Magister jet-powered basic trainers, allowing turboprop-powered aircraft to be included.

The Magisters - known as the Zukit in Israeli service - entered service in the 1960s and Israel has been seeking a replacement for at least five years.

The move allows the Israeli air force to consider the Pilatus/Beech PC-9MkII, which is entering USAir Force and Navy service as the Raytheon T-6 Texan.

Unlike other types under consideration, which would require the use of hard currency for a purchase, the PC-9MkII would be available through the US Foreign Military Sales system.

Previously the air force has evaluated a range of types from manufacturers in the UK, Italy and the Czech Republic, many better suited for advanced training rather than basic trainer work. The Israeli air force also needs an advanced trainer to replace other types.

Source: Flight International