Texan T1 takes to skies for RAF training

The Texan T1 aircraft, a state-of-the-art new training vehicle, has taken to the skies above RAF Valley on its maiden flight.

Its impending introduction will form part of a £1.2 billion investment into fixed-wing aircraft training under the Military Flight Training System and is aimed at preparing junior pilots for the front line.

Defence minister Stuart Andrew said this demonstrates the RAF's commitment to bringing in world-beating technology in order to maintain a military and security advantage over any adversaries.

"It's crucial that our fighter pilots of the future train on the very best equipment before reaching the front line to protect UK airspace at home and defend our interests abroad," he added.

The T1 will replace the Tucano in the RAF's fast jet training programme and has the ability to simulate mission scenarios in fourth and fifth generation aircraft like the Lightning and Typhoon.

An analogue cockpit in previous incarnations has been replaced with a digital glass cockpit and modern avionics to better simulate air-to-air targets and defence against air-to-ground ordnance.

Its name pays homage to the North American T-6 Texan from World War II, an aircraft used extensively by the RAF and Royal Canadian Air Force during the conflict.

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