Some pilots training as pilots for the French air force and navy will be passing through Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft along the way following a new agreement, Cirrus announced Thursday. The agreement goes through Cassidian Aviation Training Services (CATS), which the French Air Force Flight School has selected for outsourced training. CATS will operate and maintain at least 23 Cirrus aircraft at various French military units. Thirteen SR20s will be used for pilot training, seven SR22s will earn dedicated spots for training "navigating officers arm systems" and three more SR20s will be flown by students at a French naval air station. The first aircraft has already been delivered and deliveries will continue through year-end, with some specific special equipment.
The transaction itself was handled by Cirrus France. According to Laurent Blattner, CEO of CATS, "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." Each aircraft will include the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, airbag seatbelts, the Perspective avionics package (by Garmin) and standard equipment. Extra equipment to be fitted in all the ordered aircraft includes a G-Meter and UHF equipment. The Cirrus aircraft will join a fleet of 18 Grob 120s operated by CATS along with 35 TB30 Epsilon aircraft.