|The Pilatus PC-21 aircraft taking its first initial production test flight at their factory in Stans, Switzerland. Photo: Lockheed Martin
[Avionics Today 07-22-2016] Lockheed Martin and Pilatus Aircraft have successfully completed the initial production test flight of the first PC-21 aircraft destined for the Australian Defence Force under the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System program.
Under a contract signed in December 2015, the initial seven-year program is valued at AU$1.2 billion ($894 million). Performance-based options for up to 25 years will provide the opportunity to extend the length and increase the value of the total contract. Under the prime contract, Lockheed Martin will provide overall project management for the pilot training system and deliver a family of integrated ground-based training technologies. Pilatus Aircraft will provide PC-21 turboprop training aircraft and through-life engineering and airworthiness support. Hawker Pacific will provide maintenance services and fleet support and leverage its established supply chain in Australia.
This first PC-21, registered as A54-001, will be handed over to the Royal Australian Air Force at East Sale in June 2017 after completion of testing and verification work in both Switzerland and Australia. The PC-21s for Australia will form the backbone of future pilot training for the Australian Defence Force for the next 25 years.