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)
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."