BUENOS AIRES --- The Argentinean Naval Aviation Command (NENA in Spanish) has issued an operational requirement to carry out modernization of its T-34 C1 Turbo Mentor trainer aircraft. The upgrades will cover the cabin of the aircraft.
According to reports, the aircraft are largely in good shape with a high number of flyable hours remaining. However, the cabin avionics do not meet Argentine Federal Aviation Regulations and Military Airworthiness Regulations. The Argentina Air Force will need to update the integrated navigation system, transponders, communications, cabin lighting, and displays.
The T-34 is a two-seat trainer built by Beechcraft. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT-6A-25 turboprop engine with 715 HP. Argentina uses the aircraft as a lead-in for aircraft with greater complexity such as the B-200, P-3 Orion, and Pampa III.
At one point, it appeared Argentina would replace the T-34s with more modern aircraft, such as the IA-73 UNASUR I. The Air Force even leased eight Tecnam P2002JF trainers last month. However, with this announcement, Argentina has made clear its intension to continue using the T-34s for the foreseeable future.