M7 Aerospace has been awarded a $7.5 million contract to upgrade the Fairchild C-26 (Metro 23) aircraft operated by the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS).
Key elements of the project are the installation of a Leonardo Airborne & Space Systems Vixen 500E active electronically scanned array radar on the aircraft, along with an enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance adaptation. The work will be completed by September in San Antonio, Texas by the M7 subsidiary of Elbit Systems of America, which is type certificate holder for the C-26.
Flightglobal's Fleets Analyzer database records the US Navy as having seven C-26 aircraft in operational use, averaging almost 24 years of age.
Located at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, the USNTPS prepares the service's test pilots, test flight officers and flight test engineers.