SF.260
Date Updated: Saturday May 14, 2005


 

Technical Details |Service History | Current Status |Photos | Fleet Information | Write-Offs

Technical Details

The SF.260 is a two seat primary trainer and light counter insurgency aircraft. Designed by Stelio-Fratti and built by SIA-Marchetti.  The type first flew in 1964 and has undergone constant improvement and upgrades over the years.  It is a popular aircraft and is currently used by at least 21 other countries including Belgium, Brunei, Ireland, Thailand and Indonesia.

The main model in use by the PAF is the SF.260TP powered by an Allison 250-B17D turbine engine.  The engine is flat rated at 350 hp.  It can be readily distinguished from the piston engined version by having a slightly longer and sharper forward fuselage as well as having a three instead of a two bladed propeller.  In addition, the TPs assigned to the 15th SW are equipped with two hard points along the mid-point of each wing.  The hard points extend past the wing leading edge and are stressed to take up to 330lbs of stores each.  Another two sets of hard points on each side (for a total of four) can be attached outboard of these heavy pylons but these have not been seen on PAF aircraft.  When attached, those pylons are stressed to take up to 48 lbs each.   Normal armament for the SF.260s are two seven round rocket pods though it can also carry either .50 cal or 7.62 cal gun pods or a combination of these.

The other versions in the Philippine inventory, though now mostly stored are the SF.260MP and WP versions.  The basic difference between the two versions is the engine.  MP/WPs are equipped with the six-cylinder Lycoming O-540 which in turn drives a two bladed propeller.

The PAF has initiated a program called the "Layang" project which sought to convert the remaining existing MP/WP versions to the TP standard.  The first conversion was of an MP model (SN 15-18) which first flew on June 1996.  Primary difference from the factory produced version is in the turbine exhausts – the factory version has two long exhausts coming down from the bottom forward section of the aircraft and extending almost to the bottom of the firewall.  The local Layang conversion has two exhaust stubs that are considerably shorter than the factory version.

Some 18 SF.260MP/WPs were originally to be upgraded to the SF.260TP standard under Project Layang, with the first being delivered in 1996. However, it seems that the project eventually involved the conversion of existing SF.260TPs from training to attack versions only and that some seven or so were converted by 2002, with the first two examples being put into service with 15th Strike Wing in Apr 2001.  The conversions to the attack version primarily involved fitting the hard points and the gun sights to the aircraft as well as clearing the aircraft to use the various armament options.

Service History

The Philippine Air Force has long been associated with the type and began receiving SF.260s since August 1967.  All PAF aircraft were delivered new from the factory.  As a class, the type remains to be one of the more current and more modern aircraft in the Philippine Air Force inventory.

Twenty-seven SF.260MPs were delivered from May 1973 onwards. Most of the survivors were reportedly traded in for SF.260TPs. Six SF.260WPs were sold to the Burkina Faso AF in 1986.  A further six SF.260WPs were disposed of by public auction (c/ns reported as 11615, 11917, 12632, 14252, 17033 and 17040).

Nineteen SF.260WPs were also acquired. These were withdrawn when SF.260TPs entered service. Six WPs were assigned to the 17th Assault Squadron of the 15th Strike Wing and painted in camouflage colors until replaced by MG.520s.

Eighteen SF.260TPs ordered in Dec 1991 and delivered from c. July 1993. Seven are assigned to the 15th Strike Wing and assigned to the 18th Assault Squadron based at Atienza Air Base to supplement the OV-10s in the light strike/COIN role. 

The first aircraft were all assigned to the 100th Training Wing (102 Pilot Training Squadron) flying out of Fernando Air Base in Batangas province.  They were used for both primary and advanced flight training until the delivery of the S211s which took over the Advanced Training role.  The SF.260TPs continue to be used in the primary training role by the 102 PTS but are now based in Rajah Buayan Air Base in Davao. 

Current Status

TP numbers have improved somewhat because it is taking on new COIN roles to supplement low OV-10 operational rates. 

Additional SF.260s

"Project Layang".  Some 18 SF.260MP/WPs were originally to be upgraded to the SF.260TP standard under "Project Layang", with the first being delivered in 1996. However, it seems that the project eventually involved the conversion of existing SF.260TPs from training to attack versions only and that some seven or so were converted by 2002, with the first two examples being put into service with 15th Strike Wing in Apr 2001. 

Ex-Zambia/Aerotech Philippines SF260MZ.  In December 2004, the PAF is negotiating with Aerotech Industries Philippines for the long term lease of three ex-Zimbabwe Air Force SF260MZs rebuilt by Aerotech. 

 

See Fleet Information.

SF.260

inventory

supportable

operationally ready

 

 

 

 

1991 (CY-91)

25

6

5

1992 (CY-92)

25

7

6

1993 (CY-93)

25

8

6

1994 (1st semester CY-94)

25

6

3

2000 (Confirmed) 21 0 0 (all in storage)

 

SF.260TP

inventory

supportable

operationally ready

 

 

 

 

1993 (CY-93)

2

2

1

1994 (1st semester CY-94)

8

7

7

2000 (Confirmed, CY-00 Nov) 16 12 0
2002 (speculative) 16 ? 7?

 

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