Martin-Baker has completed the US16T ejection seat retrofit programme for the US Air Force’s fleet of Northrop T-38 Talon jet trainers, with the upgrade now providing crews with a “zero-zero” escape system. Production work was performed in the UK and at the Martin-Baker America facility in Johnstown, PA.
“At the start of the programme we were retrofitting at a single base at a rate of seven aircraft per month. At the peak of the programme we were installing at a rate of two aircraft per week at two bases simultaneously.” Says Andrew Martin, Director of Marketing and Business Development.
Martin-Baker was competitively selected for the upgrade in June 2005, with the retrofit programme beginning in 2009. A total of 456 aircraft were retrofitted in total.
On 19th July 2013, the US16T seat saved the lives of 2 air crew when a USAF T-38 crashed during a training mission from Sheppard Air Force Base. The aircraft suffered a bird strike causing both pilots to eject 3 miles south of the base. These were the first 2 lives saved using the US16T seats.
L-R Andrew Martin (Martin-Baker), Mr David Kitchin – SPM for T-38’s Hill AFB and Colonel Menozzi Vance AFB Chief.