Sweden signs contract to procure new trainer aircraft for Swedish Air Force

Sweden contract new trainer aircraft
Grob 120TP turboprop aircraft.

On May 5, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration FMV announced that they have awarded a contract to German company Grob Aircraft SE to provide a new flight training system for the Swedish Air Force. The contract includes seven G 120TP turboprop aircraft (with option for additional aircraft), simulators, flight safety equipment, and maintenance activities. In Sweden the G 120TP will be known as SK40.

This acquisition aims to meet the urgent needs of the Swedish Air Force to introduce a modern system capable of training future pilots. The current trainer aircraft, the SK60, first flew in 1963. Over the past 60 years, technologies and training processes have undergone major changes/improvements.

"FMV has now completed and signed a contract for a so-called Basic Trainer Aircraft complete system. It includes airplanes, simulators, computer-based training and flight safety equipment, such as helmets, parachutes and life jackets, for the first phase of the training," said Andreas Säf-Pernselius, FMV Project Manager.

The aircraft will be used for basic flight training, GFU. SwAF's goal is to have the new system ready to train the first group of student pilots in Malmen, Linköping, in the summer of 2024. Before that, instructors will have to become familiar with the new system.

"It's a very tight timeline, but the Air Force has asked for the system to be based on existing products without any special modifications. The supplier will also be responsible for maintenance for the first three years, with an option for another two years. The idea is therefore to submit the maintenance contract to competitors," says Malin Olofsson, FMV Strategic Buyer.

FMV conducted a feasibility study and a market analysis in various steps and with varying intensity in order to create a basis for the procurement of a complete training system. For various reasons, the contract was postponed several times. When FMV received information in 2020 that the government was close to making a decision on the matter, it quickly formed a project team which completed the tender documents and evaluated the offers received together with representatives of the Swedish Air Force.

According to Grob Aircraft, the new G 120TP Training Concept, based upon the versatile G 120TP basic training aircraft, addresses the latest trends and strategic shifts in modern military flight training; reduced demand for fast jet pilots, increased demand for transport/helicopter/UAS pilots, an increase on mission complexity - and in the same time pressures from reduced military budgets.

The G 120TP training system starts with the Primary and Basic Flight Training phase incorporating ab initio flight training and screening on a ‘simplified’ G 120TP with Flex Power facilitating engine handling and limiting power envelope for beginner pilots.

The Primary and Basic Flight Training phase is graduated by the students with the Wings Test. In the Streaming phase, the G 120TP platform can be operated further for all subsequent pilot class streams by downloading of flight training tasks from more expensive training platforms.

However, although the G120TP is also being marketed to cover advanced pilot training, we expect Sweden to purchase some Boeing/Saab T-7A jets in a few years to better meet the requirements for the (Lead-In Fighter Training) role. Meanwhile, the LIFT role will be covered as an interim solution by Gripen C/D aircraft.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source: FMV

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