Australia has named a Lockheed Martin
-led consortium as its preferred bidder to provide basic military flight training to fixed-wing and helicopter pilots for 25 years starting in 2019. The $2-billion contract has yet to be finalized. The Team 21 consortium includes Lockheed Martin
, Switzerland's Pilatus Aircraft and Sydney-headquartered Hawker Pacific Pty Ltd. The consortium proposed providing 49 Pilatus PC-21 fixed-wing trainers under the Australian Defence Force's AIR 5428 Pilot Training System project. (The three companies run the Republic of Singapore Air Force's PC-21-based Basic Wings Course at Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce north of Perth. The course has trained pilots for more than 20 years.) In addition to the PC-21s, Team 21 would provide flight-line support, training facilities, student accommodations and facilities, courseware, simulators and other synthetic training devices to train pilots for the Airbus
Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, the NHIndustries MRH-90 and the fixed-wing Lockheed Martin F-35A. Australia would provide the flight instructors. BAE Systems Australia, which currently provides Australia's basic flight training, also bid for the AIR 5428 in partnership with Beechcraft and CAE Australia.