Rockwell Collins to upgrade T-1A Jayhawks

April 5 (UPI) — The U.S. Air Force has contracted Rockwell Collins to upgrade its T-1A Jayhawk trainer fleet with advanced avionic technology to instruct student pilots on a variety of aircraft.

The Iowa-based company announced the contract Wednesday in a news release, which said the deal includes upgrades on 178 Air Force T-1A aircraft. Rockwell Collins will also develop 16 operational flight trainers and 14 part task trainers that will match the company’s advanced configuration for T-1A aircraft.

The technology, known as Pro Line 21, is designed for a number of advanced features that are delivered on three LCD displays. Rockwell Collins says the upgrades will train pilots to fly large military aircraft, like the KC-46 and C-130, while also preparing students for special mission fleets.

“Pro Line 21 is the workhorse of business aviation and many military platforms, bringing all the capabilities pilots want for operating in next-generation airspace, along with growth capabilities for advanced features such as integrated electronic charts and data link communications,” Craig Olson, the company’s vice president and general manager for business and regional systems, said in the release.

Rockwell Collins said the first prototypes will be delivered within the next year.

Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager, Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins’ Government Systems business said, “We have a great track record of providing avionics systems which modernize large fleets of military and special mission aircraft. We look forward to working with Field Aerospace, Nextant and Flight Safety to enable training for the next generation of U.S. Air Force pilots.”