The Ethiopian Air Force has taken delivery of six G 120TP trainers from Germany’s Grob and is looking at acquiring another six.
Grob Chief Operating Officer Ishan Sahgal told Jane’s Defence Weekly that the initial contract was signed in June this year. Deliveries started in August and were completed in September.
Sahgal said Grob expects the Ethiopian Air Force to order another six G 120TPs before the end of this year, which would entail deliveries commencing almost immediately.
The G 120TPs are replacing 30-year-old SF 260TPs based at the Ethiopian Air Force’s training facility at Dire Dawa Air Base.
The Ethiopian Air Force is believed to only have several SF 260 and half a dozen L-39 Albatros trainer aircraft in service.
The first G 120 operator in Africa was the Kenya Air Force, which acquired six G 120A piston-engine basic trainers in November 2013 to replace its fleet of Scottish Aviation Bulldogs.
The all-composite airframe G 120TP has a service life of 15 000 hours and is certified for +6/-4 gs, allowing for aerobatic training. The modern glass cockpit features multi-function displays, a digital standby flight display and a digital engine display. Grob says the G120 has one of the lowest maintenance costs in the industry.
The G 120TP is powered by the Rolls-Royce M250-B17F turbine engine, which can be limited to 312 shp for ab initio training, although it is rated at 380 shp for maximum cruise (380 km/h). The student pilot can be seated either in the left hand or right hand ejection seat, both with individual throttle levers.
The G 120TP first flew in 2010 and has since been adopted by a number of air forces, including those of Indonesia, Mexico, Myanmar and Jordan.