To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he became aware of the certification issues with the Texan T1 training aircraft; and whether an assessment was made of the potential merits of purchasing an alternative aircraft.
22 February 2021
The Texan T Mk1 entered service in 2019. It is a Civil Certified aircraft, certified by the Federal Aviation Authority and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. The Ministry of Defence operates Texan on the Military Register, which requires a Military Type Certificate (MTC) issued by the Military Aviation Authority (MAA). The MAA imposed a restriction in the MTC on initial Release To Service to minimise flight over water in order to drive further improvements to the Texan, so that its operation would be coherent with the protection levels afforded by other UK military aircraft. This has led to work to implement improvements to the Harness, Life Preserver and Life Raft. The Department is now preparing for a review of the MTC Restriction.
During procurement, Texan was assessed as the most suitable training aircraft for the required syllabus. The MTC restriction was imposed after the procurement of the Texan and as such no further assessment has been made of any potential merits of purchasing an alternative aircraft.