Poland Is Going To Modernize Its PZL-130 Orlik Turbo-Prop Training Aircraft Soon

  • System spadochronów hamujących Oriona. Fot. NASA

Tomasz Siemoniak, Minister of Defence, stated that a decision to modernize the PZL-130 Orlik turboprop trainers is going to be undertaken soon. The aim of the modernization works is to equip the aircraft with the glass cockpit avionics, as it was stated by Lt. Col. Artur Goławski working for the General Command of the Armed Forces.

The Minister of Defence said that the issue of modernization of the PZL-130 trainer aircraft is going to be clarified soon. Minister Siemoniak noted that the modernization is going to provide a wider perspective, which will be a finishing touch for the air force’s training system. As Lt. Col. Goławski states, Siemoniak noted that the first M-346 master trainer jets are planned to be delivered in October 2016.

Back in 2013 the deliveries of the PZL-130 aircraft, upgraded to the TC-II standard, were finished. What is more, the operational mode was changed. So far the Orliks were operating according to their operational lifetime, now the repairs are going to be carried out in accordance with the technical status. At the beginning of 2014 the Armament Inspectorate informed that it started a market analysis regarding the upgrade of 12 TC-I aircraft up to TC-II glass cockpit variant. These Orliks shall constitute a link between the TC-II modified earlier and the  M-346 jet trainers.

EADS PZL “Warszawa-Okęcie” facility, along with the Air Force’s University of Technology, undertook works on modernization of the PZL-130 TC-II trainers up to the  Orlik MPT standard. The basic assumption was to create a trainer which would feature the cockpit layout similar to that of the M-346 Master jets and of the multi-role F-16C/D fighters. This would create an environment in which the future pilots would be able to get acquainted with the digital avionics. Orlik MPT was presented for the first time back in March 2014, while the first flight took place in October.