Two more air forces in the Middle East will benefit from advanced head-up display (HUD) and flight-management systems (FMS) developed by the Canadian-based Esterline CMC Electronics in their forthcoming fleets of trainer aircraft.
CMC’s CMA-9000 FMS and SparrowHawk HUD are standard across the PC-21 fleet.
Under orders announced in 2012, the Royal Saudi Air Force will receive 55 PC-21s, while the Qatar Emiri Air Force is buying 24 of the aircraft. Both forces are due to begin taking delivery of the single-engine turboprop trainer next year. The United Arab Emirates Air Force has operated its fleet of 25 PC-21s since 2010.
The CMA-9000 is unique in being certified for civilian applications yet featuring military specification capabilities, such as support for night-vision goggles. The system integrates radio management functions and is considered a good fit for modern digital glass-cockpit configurations, whether in fixed-wing or rotary-wing platforms.
CMC claims that its CMA-7100 SparrowHawk, a digital HUD, is the most accurate on the market and half the size of comparable systems. Features such as automatic boresighting mean the system is also less labour-intensive during maintenance.
ThePC-21’s first customer was the company’s home nation, Switzerland; the Force has operated the trainer since 2003. The other user is the Republic of Singapore Air Force Flight Training School, which is located in Australia, and has been operating the type since 2008.