The PAC Chairman, Air Marshal Arshad Malik signed the contract with Professor Dr Ismail Demir, Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defence industries after the 260hp trainer was selected in August 2016. All the aircraft will replace the TurAF’s fleet of SF260s and Cessna T-41s based at Izmir-Kaklic and Istanbul-Yesilkoy respectively for student pilot/undergraduate training. They will be fitted with the Garmin 950 avionics in the cockpit.
With the first TurAF Super MUSHSHAKs already being produced at PAC Kamra, the first pair will be supplied within nine months, according to the PAC Chairman. The remaining 50 aircraft will follow within three years. Five TurAF pilots are expected to attend the PAF’s Flying Instructor School at PAF Academy Asghar Khan to train as instructor pilots. It marks the biggest Pakistan export order to a NATO customer and comes in the wake of deals with Qatar (8) and Nigeria (10).
The first four Qatar Air Force examples, also fitted with Garmin 950 avionics will be delivered in June. While the first five new aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force, fitted with a Dynon avionics suite should be delivered in July. There is no doubt the glass cockpit has breathed new life into a trainer that hadn’t been sold to a military export customer since Saudi Arabia bought them in 2004.