Procurement: Pakistan Trolls For Tweets


August 26, 2008:The U.S. is donating twenty pre-owned T-37 jet trainers to Pakistan. The T-37s are being taken from the U.S. storage facility (the "bone yard"), refurbished and shipped to Pakistan (which will pay for the shipping). Pakistan had requested the T-37s last year. Earlier this year, after more than half a century of service, the U.S. Air Forceretired the last of its twin jet T-37B training aircraft. The replacement is a single engine prop driven aircraft, the T-6A [PHOTO].

One of the most successful aircraft designs of the post-WorldWar II era,the Cessna T-37 is a two engine primary jet trainerwith a top speed of about 680 kilometers an hour. Designed in1953, theT-37, affectionately nicknamed the "Tweet," entered servicewith the Air Force in 1957. Over the next eight years. 1,268 T-37s were produced in several models, including a ground attack version, the A-37, which has a much higher speed (830 kilometers an hour) and somewhat different overall characteristics. Most T/A-37s were still flying at the end of the Cold War. But since then, they have been retired at a rapid rate.

The versatile T-37 proved an attractive investment for nations wishing to stretch their defense dollars, and was procured for use by the U.S. and 14 other countries. The oldest T-37s have logged over 20,000 hours of light time, with the average well over 12,000 hours.

By 1996, all USAF T-37Bs completed a SLEP refit, extending their total useful life to over 30,000 hours.Regarded as a "user friendly" aircraft, by now many T-37Bs are basically worn out.The T-6A was selected as its replacement because this aircraft, based on the very popular Pilatus PC-9, already had an excellent reputation as a trainer aircraft. But many nations still prefer the tweet, and the United States is constantly asked to provide some of its retired (to the bone yard) T-37s.




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