Representatives from Martin-Baker Aircraft are in the early stages of installing the company’s new the Mk US16T ejection seats in the Air Force’s T-38C trainer aircraft at Randolph AFB, Tex., officials there announced Friday. The new seats offer improved aircrew safety and comfort. “The old ejection seat has the least capability in the flight regime where the most ejections occurred: the low-altitude, low-airspeed range,” explained Rick French, a T-38 program manager for Air Education and Training Command. The new seats allow pilots to bail out at zero altitude and zero airspeed as well as when flying high and fast. Among its other features, the ejection seat offers more secure thigh and ankle restraints than its predecessor and can better accommodate smaller pilots. Randolph is the second of five AETC bases behind Laughlin AFB, Tex., whose T-38s are being upgraded. (Randolph report by Robert Goetz)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.