Pilatus has flown the first South African Air Force Astra PC-7 MkII to feature an upgraded avionics package that replaces obsolete equipment with a modern glass cockpit.

The cockpit will be procurable and supportable until the aircraft leave service.

Work on the trial installation aircraft upgrade was performed by Pilatus in Switzerland to validate the modifications, kit lists, tooling and procedures required to modify the rest of the 54-aircraft fleet in South Africa.

Work there will be done by Aerosud, under contract to Pilatus, at Langebaanweg air force base.

The first in-country aircraft modification is scheduled to take place in November, while the rest of the fleet is scheduled to undergo modification over the next three-and-a-half years.

Source: Flight International