Planes de reemplazo del avión presidencial mexicano TP-01

Hoy el periódico mexicano Reforma publica lo que ya se venía platicando en círculos especializados desde hacía meses, el avión presidencial TP-01 va de salida.

Avión presidencial TP-01 Presidente Juárez

Aunque el Boeing 757 de la Fuerza Aérea tiene relativamente poco tiempo de uso (24 años), lo cierto es que carece de alcance intercontinental, obligando a la comitiva presidencial a hacer escalas obligadas en los viajes a Europa o Asia.

Si bien es cierto que todavía no se sabe qué modelo sustituirá al 757, lo cierto es que en la Fuerza Aérea se decantan por opciones del mismo fabricante: el Boeing 777 o el Boeing 787 Dreamliner, ambos aviones de cabina doble y capacidad intercontinental.

Es importante mencionar que este tipo de adquisiciones implican un cierto desgaste político, lo que no es privativo de México. Hoy en día, las discusiones para sustituir el avión presidencial de EEUU mantienen en vilo su reemplazo, lo mismo que el caso de Brasil, donde la presidenta Dilma Rousseff busca adquirir un Boeing 747 para “mostrar el peso específico de su país en el mundo”.

Sin embargo, haciendo a un lado las discusiones en el plano político,  lo cierto es que el jefe del ejecutivo mexicano sí necesita un nuevo medio de transporte aéreo moderno y eficaz.

El TP-01 sirvió a una época que ya terminó.

Hawker Beechcraft confirms T6C+ Texan II for the Mexican Air Force

As we previously announced some weeks ago, Hawker Beechcraft has confirmed that the Mexican Air Force acquired at least six T6C+ Texan II Advanced Training aircraft to replace the aging Pilatus PC-7 fleet.

This is the company’s official statement:

Hawker Beechcraft Signs Contract with Mexican Air Force for Six T-6C+ Trainers

WICHITA, Kan. (Jan. 9, 2012) – Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC) today announced the first sale of its new Beechcraft T-6C+ military trainer to the Mexican Air Force (FAM). The T-6C+, an enhanced version of the T-6 military trainer aircraft, is capable of carrying external stores and delivering practice weapons for training purposes. The first two of six contracted FAM T-6C+ aircraft will be delivered to an advanced training base in Mexico’s northern region in early 2012. The new T-6C+ trainers will replace the FAM’s aging PC-7 fleet.

“We look forward to providing the Mexican Air Force with the highly effective, ultra-reliable and low-maintenance Beechcraft T-6C+,” said Jim Maslowski, president, HBDC. “We see this sale of six aircraft as just the beginning of a long and productive relationship with the FAM.”

The T-6C+ features hard-point wings, Heads-Up Display, Up-Front Control Panel, an integrated glass cockpit and an advanced Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite that greatly expands advanced training opportunities. The systems are integrated with a Hands-On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS), providing the student pilot and instructor with a simpler interface to the digital cockpit. The CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is the first in its class to incorporate a fully integrated and FAA-certified dual FMS/GPS navigation suite that meets the required navigation performance standards for current worldwide airspace equipment. The open architecture design of the Cockpit 4000 provides the flexibility to expand capabilities and continuously meet current and future training needs.

In addition to accommodating instruction in instrument flight procedures and basic aerial maneuvers, the T-6 delivers world-class training capability that is appropriate for teaching the most basic introductory flight training tasks through the more challenging and complex advanced training missions that could previously be accomplished only in far more expensive jet aircraft.

Deliveries of the T-6 began in 2000 after the aircraft was initially selected to fill the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military programs worldwide, including NATO Flying Training in Canada, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force and the Royal Moroccan Air Force, have chosen the T-6 and its derivatives as their primary trainers. To date, the T-6 has been used to train pilots, navigators, and weapons systems operators from approximately 20 different countries.

Hawker Beechcraft is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.

Texan II Cockpit

ADDENDUM:

MXSECURITY learned that the Mexican Air Force bought an initial batch of ten T6C+ Texan II and that more orders will come in the near term. We don’t know why Hawker Beechcraft is talking of six planes.

Another CN-235 Persuader for the Mexican Navy (eight are coming)

The Mexican Navy received the first CN-235  Persuader Maritime Surveillance aircraft under the Merida Initiative counter-narcotics program.

Airbus Military Copyright (Photo link: http://www.eadsnorthamerica.com/)

This is the first of four Persuaders donated by the US Government to Mexico. The remaining three aircraft will be delivered over the first half of 2012.

These Persuaders should NOT be confused with those purchased directly by the Mexican Navy (a total of four) over the past years.

The Persuaders’ information-management system is the FITS (Fully Integrated Tactical System). The same system is already in use onboard six CASA C-212 Maritime Surveillance aircraft of the Mexican Navy.

Fully Integrated Tactical System FITS (Photo: http://www.airbusmilitary.com/Surveillance/CN235Persuader.aspx)

Airbus Military official statement:

16th November 2011

Mexico takes delivery of its first Airbus Military CN235 MPA ordered under the Mérida Initiative

The Mexican Navy has taken delivery of the first of four CN235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) ordered from Airbus Military through a contract with EADS North America under the Mérida Initiative, a joint program between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Mexico. The remaining three aircraft will be delivered in the first half of 2012.

This CN235 in MPA configuration incorporates the latest technology developed for surveillance over the sea. The combination of the Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) system and a Search Radar allows this aircraft to locate and track ships to conduct thorough patrols of a coastline. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) help make this aircraft the ideal tool to carry out military surveillance missions for the Mexican Navy. The FITS was entirely developed by Airbus Military and ensures that the extensive data gathered by the aircraft’s on-board sensors can be easily used by the crew to execute their mission.

“It is an honor that the Mexican Navy is taking delivery of this Airbus Military CN235 MPA for its fleet. We are looking forward to the upcoming entry into service of this highly versatile aircraft that is ideal to help enforce law on the Mexican coastline”, says Airbus Military Head of Programmes, Rafael Tentor.

Including this latest delivery, the Mexican Navy already operates three CN235, which are to be added to the two CN235 operated by the Mexican federal police. The Mexican Air Force and Navy also operate nine C295 and six C212 aircraft.

To date, Airbus Military has sold 211 CN235 to 32 different operators in 20 countries all over the world.”

No Renault Sherpas for MX Navy…so far

Despite initial rumors that the Mexican Navy had bought an unspecified number of Renault Sherpa Light Scout Vehicles, MXSECURITY has confirmed that not a single Sherpa has been acquired over this year.

The Mexican Navy announced it didn’t buy any Sherpa and “has no plans [so far…] to buy such vehicles in the near term”.

Then, what about the Sherpa spotted in Veracruz some weeks ago?

Well, that Sherpa was allegedly undergoing operational tests in a real urban-warfare environment.

The Sherpa Light Scout Vehicle is specially suited for military urban operations, making it a great choice for Mexico’s current internal security crisis.

Let us wait for the Navy’s final call.

Renault Sherpa Light Scout Vehicle (Photo: http://www.defense-studies.blogspot.com)

Mexican Air Force selects Texan II for training and CAS purposes

Well, after 30 years of service with the Mexican Air Force, the Pilatus PC7 will be finally replaced.

The Air Force announced it has selected the Hawker Beechcraft T6C Texan II over the Embraer Super Tucano (Brazil) and the Pilatus PC9M(Switzerland).

Texan II All-glass cockpit (photo: http://www.airforce-technology.com)

The Texan II main features are:

All-glass cockpit

Head-Up Display (HUD)

Hands-on-throttle and stick (HOTAS)

Range: 1,575 km

Max speed: 585 KM/h

And yes…………it has wing hard points for a limited CAS capability.

The Mexican Air Force will first buy 10 T6C Texan II for advanced training purposes and a following order of 20 planes will come in the next years (perhaps two to three years).

Rumor has it that the second purchase will include the more capable version AT6, a network-centric light attack aircraft with FLIR and Data Link  systems.

Certainly not good news for Pilatus’ guys….it seems they lost one of their best customers ever (Mexico operated up to 80 PC7 over the 80’s and 90’s).

Click here for a great video: http://newsroom.hawkerbeechcraft.com/media-center/beechcraft-t-6c/

Addendum:

The information posted on this blog comes from a public document issued by Mexico’sDefense Ministry on November 4th.

Mexican Air Force buys C-27J Spartan

Well, it’s official: the Mexican Air Force is buying four C-27J Spartan transport aircraft.

Alenia Aeronautica C27J Spartan

Press report by the main contractor:

“Finmeccanica, through its operating company Alenia Aeronautica, signed a contract worth
approximately USD 200 million with Mexico to supply four tactical transport aircraft C-27J.

[...]
The first aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2011 and the whole supply will be completed by the
end of 2012. The contract envisages also the logistics support for the entire fleet through the supply of
spare parts and GSE (Ground Support Equipment).

The Spartans (VIDEO) will serve along the recently-acquired CASA C295 transport aircraft and the much older C-130 Hercules.

Spartan C-27J cockpit (www.airforce-technology.com)

Addendum: thanks to Favian Uriel for the information.

New Humvees for the Mexican Army

The Mexican Army is beginning to replace its ageing Humvee fleet.

According to the Ministry of Defense, 717 out of the 2,200 Mexican Humvees are incapable to fulfill the Army’s minimal operational requirements.

Therefore, the Army is acquiring an initial batch of 240 brand new Humvees for a total cost of US $40 million.

Mexican Humvees have proven their efficiency in tactical missions such as troop transport, liaison and reconnaissance.

Nevertheless -as the Army has pointed out- Humvees are not well suited for urban counter-narcotic operations due to their weight and reduced maneuverability. That’s perhaps one of the main reasons that encouraged the Armed Forces to acquire the Sandcat Tactical Protector Vehicle.

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