Cirrus Aircraft has announced that Cirrus SR20s and SR22s have been selected by Cassidian Aviation Training Services (CATS) in a public tender for the French Air Force and Navy.
A fleet of 13 Cirrus SR20s will be dedicated for training pilots at the French air force base of Salon de Provence. An additional fleet of seven Cirrus SR22s will be dedicated to training flights of navigating officers arm systems (NOSA) and liaison flights, in particular to accompany the French Air Force’s aerobatic team.
Through the agreement with CATS, another fleet of three Cirrus SR20s will be dedicated to the students of the Ecole Navale at the naval air station of Lanveoc Poulmic. CATS will be in charge of maintenance and airworthiness of all fleets. The transaction was handled by Cirrus France.
Cirrus Vice President, Global Fleet and Special Mission Aircraft Sales, Jon Dauplaise said, “The French Air Force and CATS are committed to the highest quality of flight training. By using our SR20s and SR22s – aircraft that set the standards for training and advanced performance – they are setting the standard for the highest quality air force.”
“To respond to the tender for Salon de Provence, we studied the best solutions to fit the needs of the French Air Force. With regards to performance, the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 are the most appropriate aircraft to meet the current needs of the French Air Force and also the most versatile for the future”, added Laurent Blattner, CEO of CATS.
Each aircraft delivered to the French Air Force will be equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS), airbag seatbelts, Cirrus Perspective by Garmin avionics and all the active and passive safety systems and features that are standard on all Cirrus aircraft. Specific options such as UHF and G-Meter will also be equipped in the entire fleet.
The Cirrus SR20s and SR22s will be added to a fleet of 18 Grob 120 already owned by CATS in the outsourcing agreement of the French Air Force Flight School, in addition to 35 TB30 Epsilon managed by CATS for the French Air Force and the Xingy managed by CATS for AVORD, the French Air Force Transport Flight School.
The first SR20 was delivered in Salon de Provence on August 9 and the first SR22 will be delivered in September. Delivery will continue through the end of 2012.
As of mid-2012, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed five-and-a-half-million flight hours with 57 lives saved to date as a direct result of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), which is a standard safety feature on all Cirrus aircraft.