MK16 Ejection Seat for T-38/F-5 Over 1000 US16T seats in service

In June 2005, Martin-Baker was selected to upgrade the escape system in the supersonic T-38 Talon advanced trainers of the US Air Force and Air Education and Training Command (AETC). The seat was designated the US16T.

This major project has improved pilot safety, increased accommodation and guaranteed ejection seat logistic to ensure that the Talon remains one of the best advanced training aircraft in the world. The seat offers a state of the art, lifesaving performance, which interfaces with the existing canopy jettison system and the contents of the Personal Survival Pack (PSP) matches operator’s requirements to suit the aircraft role. The seat also offers maximum possible pilot size and weight range accommodation (without airframe changes).

The seat installation is simple and provides reduced life cycle costs. Martin-Baker is currently retrofitting the USAF T-38C aircraft with the US16T ejection seat and are scheduled to complete 458 aircraft installations by 2014.

Operating Ceiling 50 000ft (15,250m)
Minimum height/Speed Zero/zero in near level attitude
Crew boarding mass range 57.1 to 123.8kg
Crew size range JPATS multi-variate body size cases 1 to 6
Maximum Speed for ejection 600 KIAS
Parachute type GQ Type 5000
Parachute deployment Cartridge initiated
Drogue parachute Yes
Drogue deployment Cartridge initiated, tilt and deploy
Harness type Torso
Ejection seat operation type Ejection guns and underseat rocket motor
Ejection gun Twin
Ejection initiation Handle on seat bucket initiates gas operated seat
Automatic back-up unit Yes
Electronic sequencer No
Barostatic time-release unit Yes + g-restrictor, cartridge initiated
Timers Time delay cartridges
Seat adjustment Up/down actuator operated 115 Vac, fore/aft manual backrest adjustment
Arm restraints No
Leg restraints Yes, four garters
Oxygen supply Bottled emergency oxygen
Seat survival kit (SSK) Yes + automatic deployment and liferaft inflation
Aircrew services Connection to main oxygen supply, mic/tel
Command ejection Yes
Canopy jettison Yes
Miniature detonating cord No
Interseat Sequencing System (ISS) Yes, via mode selector
  • T-38
  • Seat firing handle pulled causing seat initiation cartridge to fire
  • Command firing initiated
  • Harness retraction unit operated
  • Canopy jettison initiated
  • Primary cartridge fires, bottom latches engage, top latches disengage seat rises up rails
  • Aircraft services disconnected
  • Leg restraint lines draw back and restrain aircrew’s legs
  • Secondary cartridges fire as seat rises
  • Multi-purpose initiators fire
  • Underseat rocket motor fires
  • Leg restraint lines become taut and rivets shear, freeing lines from floor brackets
  • Emergency oxygen supplied to aircrew
  • Barostatic Time-Release Unit (BTRU) mechanism set to operate when altitude and g-load conditions are satisfactory
  • Drogue and drogue deployment unit turn to operating position
  • Automatic Backup Unit (ABU) set to operate if necessary
  • Drogue deployed, stabilises and decreases velocity of seat
  • Barostatic time release unit monitors the altitude and g-load conditions

Above pre-determined altitude

  • Seat falls, stabilsed by drogue
  • Emergency oxygen supply continues

Below pre-determined altitude

  • BTRU mechanism operates, cartridge fires (If BTRU fails, ABU operates. Manual deployment also available by pulling manual override handle)
  • Cartridge of headbox deployment unit fires
  • Parachute container (headbox) deploys
  • Drogue bridle released
  • Upper and lower harness to seat locks and leg restraint lines released
  • Parachute container separates from main parachute and is pulled clear by auxiliary parachute
  • Sticker straps momentarily hold aircrew in seat
  • Main parachute develops, lifts aircrew and survival kit from seat and pulls sticker clips from clips causing aircrew and seat to diverge
  • Aircrew and survival kit (attached to aircrew) separate from seat
  • Pulling survival kit from seat causes Automatic Deployment Unit (ADU) cartridge to fire
  • Automatic Deployment Unit operates, lowers survival kit on drop line below aircrew
  • Personal locator beacon operates, liferaft automatically inflates
  • Normal parachute descent follows
  • Underwater automatic release system automatically releases harness on immersion
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