Cirrus Aircraft won a tender set by EADS for the supply of a fleet of training aircraft supporting pilot training for the French Air Force and Navy. The new Cirrus SR20s and SR22s will join a mixed fleet of 53 trainers supplied by Daher-Socata and Grob currently operated by Cassidian Aviation Training Services (CATS) in this role.
The company will employ a fleet of 13 SR20s aircraft to be based at the French Air Force base of Salon de Provence; three additional aircraft of this type will support the pilot training for the French Navy Air Arm, operating from the Naval Air Station of Lanveoc Poulmic. Additionally, a separate fleet of seven SR22s aircraft will be used for the training of navigator and weapon systems operators. The aircraft will also will be used by the French Air Force aerobatic team. These aircraft will be equipped with advance safety measures including Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), airbag seatbelts, and the Garmin designed ‘Cirrus Perspective’ avionic suite. Deliveries of all aircraft will be completed this year. CATS will be in charge of maintenance and airworthiness of all fleets. The aircraft will join a mixed fleet of 35 TB30 Epsilon and 18 Grob 120 trainers operated by CATS under an outsourcing agreement supporting the Flight and Transport Flight Schools of the French Air Force.
Cirrus Aircraft is wholly owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA). Cirrus aircraft are made in the USA and the transaction was handled by Cirrus France.