Airbus Spain has proposed a new concept of training aircraft to the Ejercito del aire, which could take over from C-101 and others F-5 currently in service. The plane, which is a two-seater mono-reactor in tandem, exists for the moment only on paper.
Replacing C-101 and F-5 airplanes
Airbus Spain has shown an advanced new concept of training aircraft that the aircraft manufacturer aims to introduce to the Spanish Ministry of Defence to replace C-101 and F-5 airplanes, currently in service for the advanced pilots training. Given the name of Airbus Flexible Jet trainer (AFJT or multi-purpose training jet), the project is for the moment only a study on paper but has also been introduced to the Spanish media last week by Fernando Peces, head of the Spanish Eurofighter program for Airbus Military Aircraft, and Javier Escribano, head of Future Combat Programs.
A modern Mako airplane
The images broadcasted by Airbus represent the AFJT as a single-engine two-seater in tandem, with a conventional fuselage design which remind of the Mako light fighter aircraft conceived by the 1980-1990’s. The AFJT would be entirely managed by the Spanish unit of the company's Military Aircraft Division, the former CASA (Construcciones Aeronáuticas Sociedad Anónima), which already build the planes C295, A400M and A330MRTT, produce the right wing of the Eurofighter and gather the Spanish Eurofighter. Airbus Spain would be the only responsible of the conception, the integration and the assembly of the AFJT, Spanish subcontractors supplying as far as possible the necessary components and sub-components.
A need estimated of 50 to 55 planes
Airbus estimates that the Spanish Air force will need 50 to 55 planes to replace F-5 and C-101 planes in their role of training planes as well as those of its aerobatic teams. On the export market, Airbus estimates that between 500 and 800 training airplanes will be necessary until 2029, without counting possible variants of light attack and other "aggressors".