Danish Air Force T-17 Training Fleet to Receive Digital Overhaul

Denmark has awarded local aerospace firm Scandinavian Avionics a contract to modernize the air force’s Saab T-17 high-wing military training aircraft.

The agreement covers the replacement of the fleet’s analog cockpit with digital components, including wireless data transfer, engine indication, newer air traffic control transponders, and communications tools.

The project will also incorporate Garmin’s G500 TXi touchscreen flight display, which enables a more detailed overview of the vehicle’s speed and altitude, as well as the company’s GTN 750Xi high-resolution navigator and GI 275 standby multifunction instrument for complex scenarios.

In addition, light indicators across the T-17’s panels will be replaced with LED indicators that require less power.

Work will encompass all 26 T-17s under the Royal Danish Air Force. The first 10 will receive upgrades, while the remaining will undertake a complete overhaul in Aalborg. 

‘Ambitious’ Initiative

Scandinavian Avionics wrote that digitizing the trainer fleet would reduce each plane’s weight and increase fuel savings.

“This is a very ambitious project, and we are proud and honoured to partner with the Danish Air Force to lift the aerial capacity to the next level,” Scandinavian Avionics CEO Michael Truelsen stated.

“Not only do the T-17 aircraft receive a total transformation from analogue to digital, but the upgrades will also result in a severe reduction in the need for maintenance in the future.”

Before and after photo of the upgraded T-17 features. Photo: Danish Armed Forces

Meanwhile, the Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (FMI) said that the decision to partner with the Billund-based company builds on its experience with the older T-432 training aircraft on which the T-17s were modeled.

“I am very satisfied that a Danish company has won the tender,” FMI T-17 Manager Maj. Jens Vinther stated. “They have the necessary know-how and experience to ensure that the project is a success,”

Constant Training

The contract follows the delivery of an upgraded T-17 prototype to the Royal Danish Air Force in June 2022.

Accepted in Karup, the unit is now used to train entry service personnel in piloting skills and maintenance.

Practice sessions with the T-17 will continue as the latest initiative transforms the fleet.

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