Announced in April of 2015, the Mexican Navy will receive its first shipment of the new Airbus C295W medium transport aircraft. The C295W, manufactured by the Airbus Defence and Space division of the European Airbus Group consortium, will join the service’s existing fleet of four C295s. With the Mexican Navy as the initial customer, the C295W is an upgraded variant of the model’s predecessors with the addition of winglets and enhanced engine settings. Spokesman for the Mexican service Admiral José Maria Garcia stated that the branch has decided to equip all future orders of the aircraft with winglets after determining that the feature greatly enhanced the performance of the C295, particularly in hot and high conditions.
In March of 2015, the United States Air Force released its requirements for its Northrop T-38C Talon combat aircraft trainer replacement program, known as T-X. According to USAF Brigadier General Dawn Dunlop, the T-38 is unable to complete 12 of 18 advanced pilot training tasks, which forces the Air Force to rely on fighter and bomber formal training units to complete the training at a much greater cost. Northrop Grumman, the designer and manufacturer of the T-38 Talon twin-jet trainer, has built 1,187 of these aircraft to date and over 60,000 pilots have trained in them since it entered service in 1961 when it was the world’s first supersonic trainer. More than 500 remained in service with the US Air Force and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and it is also in service with the armed forces of Germany (40 aircraft), South Korea (30), Taiwan (40) and Turkey (69).
After many successful implementations of Sikorsky’s Matrix Technology, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Sikorsky with an $8 million contract to equip existing aircraft with the technology. This contract is allocated to Phase 1 of the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation (ALIAS Program) in efforts to reduce dependence on aircraft crew members. The ALIAS Program uses Matrix Technology to install an aircraft automation system. Introduced in 2013, this program includes a remote pilot method, allowing for piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). This removable kit can replace up to five crew members through a touch and voice recognition screen. Most importantly, this new operation may increase aircraft safety during emergency situations and harsh weather conditions.
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