First flight of RAAF’s in-service PC-21
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed the first PC-21 in-service flight in East Sale, Australia, marking a new milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System, Lockheed Martin announced on 15 August.
The AIR 5428 Pilot Training System will train future pilots of the RAAF, Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army. Signed in December 2015, the initial seven-year AIR 5428 Pilot Training System contract is valued at AUD$1.2 billion ($940.3 million), with performance-based options to extend the value and length of the contract for up to 25 years.
Under the AIR 5428 contract, Lockheed Martin is providing overall project management for the pilot training system and delivering a family of integrated ground-based training technologies. Pilatus Aircraft is providing 49 PC-21 turboprop training aircraft and through-life engineering and airworthiness support, while Hawker Pacific is providing maintenance services and fleet support.
Vince Di Pietro, chief executive for Lockheed Martin Australia, said: ‘This milestone is a great achievement to all involved and we celebrate the Australian Defence Force's first flight in service and acceptance of the first six of 49 PC-21 aircraft, as the mainstay trainer for Australia's pilot training programme for decades to come.
'Combining the PC-21 turboprop training aircraft with training simulations and an electronic learning environment, Australia's new pilot training system will prepare Australia's next-generation pilots for mission success.’
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