In a recent ceremony that marked a significant milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System, Lockheed Martin celebrated the Chief of Air Force first flight of the in-service PC-21 aircraft.
The occasion was celebrated at a media event hosted by Australian Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne, in East Sale, Australia. Also in attendance was the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, highlighting the significance of the program to the Australian Government.
Vince Di Pietro, chief executive for Lockheed Martin Australia attended the event along with AIR 5428 partners Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific.
«We are excited to celebrate this momentous occasion with the CAF and recognise this marks the beginning of training for Australia’s fifth-generation air capability», said Vince Di Pietro. «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 program for decades to come. Combining the PC-21 turboprop training aircraft with state-of-the-art training simulations and an electronic learning environment, Australia’s new Pilot Training System will prepare Australia’s next-generation pilots for mission success».
The AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is an integrated solution tailored for all future pilots of the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army.
«Lockheed Martin Australia leads the delivery of integrated solutions for all future pilots of the Australian Defence Force», said Amy Gowder, vice president of Training and Logistics Solutions for Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems business. «This milestone is an important achievement, and confirms the Lockheed Martin-led team is on track to deliver a world-class pilot training solution to the Australian Defence Force».
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, and leveraging its established supply chain in Australia.
Signed in December 2015, the initial seven-year AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is valued at AU$1.2 billion, with performance-based options to extend the value and length of the contract for up to 25 years.
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is delighted to announce the signing of three PC-21 fleet orders by end of December 2016, for a total of 21 PC-21s, of which 17 are for the French Air Force and two each for the Royal Jordanian Air Force and QinetiQ, a British company which operates the «Empire Test Pilots’ School». Together, these orders are worth over 300 million Swiss francs and will help to ensure jobs at Stans.
French Air Force
The French Air Force (Armée de l’air française), one of the world’s most prestigious air forces, has opted for the 21st century training system: the 17 PC-21s will be used to train future military pilots who will transfer to the Alpha Jet prior to their conversion on to the Dassault Rafale, a multi-purpose 5th generation fighter aircraft.
The contract signed on the 30th December 2016 by the French Air Force is with Babcock Mission Critical Services France (BMCSF), with Pilatus as a sub-contractor, in which role our PC-21 and other ground-based training material will contribute to completion of the overall contract.
In addition to the Swiss Air Force, France is now the second European nation to opt for the PC-21 as part of the world’s most advanced, most efficient integrated training system.
Under the contract concluded with QinetiQ, a British company, Pilatus will provide two PC-21s to the «Empire Test Pilots’ School» (ETPS) based in Wiltshire, in the south of England. Operated by QinetiQ, ETPS functions as a training center for flight test engineers and test pilots, and enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. The PC-21s with their modified flight instruments will be used to train test pilots and flight test engineers for customers from the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
Royal Jordanian Air Force
The Royal Jordanian Air Force, having placed an initial order for the PC-9 M in August 2015, re-evaluated their requirement in early 2016 due to previously unforeseen issues with their Lead in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) platform. The procurement decision was revised following a modification of the training concept, introducing the PC-21 all-through training model – currently the most advanced training system available anywhere on the market. The contract amendment was initially for eight aircraft but with an option for additional units, if required. The option was now executed for two more PC-21s’, with a total of ten PC-21s’ now providing the backbone of the nation’s future pilot training regime. The first deliveries will be undertaken mid-2017.
Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pilatus, comments on the contracts as follows: «I am delighted we have finally won another European air force for our PC-21. An exceptionally rigorous selection process based on the strictest of criteria provides further proof that the PC-21 is the first choice worldwide for training military pilots. I am proud that our best-selling PC-21 is now destined to fly for ‘la Grande Nation’. France is already the 8th air force to choose the PC-21: these orders included, we will soon have a total of 209 PC-21s flying successfully from bases around the world. I’m confident that other European air forces will follow France’s example»!
Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, adds: «Pilatus is pleased to be part of the programme of modernisation at QinetiQ Test Aircrew Training. Our PC-21 will provide a training platform for the next generation of test pilots worldwide. That a global leader in the test flight sector decides to replace ageing Hawks and Alpha Jets with the PC-21 is a tribute to our product’s performance and flexibility».
Pilatus feels obligated, and will endeavour, to provide our PC-21 customers with the Swiss quality and outstanding customer service which they deserve, delivering them with the world’s most up-to-date pilot training system – the Pilatus PC-21.
Take-off distance over 50 feet/15 m obstacle at sea level
2,618 feet/789 m
Landing distance over 50 feet/15 m obstacle at sea level
3,383 feet/1,031 m
Maximum rate of climb, sea level
4,091 feet/min/20.78 m/sec
Maximum operating speed (Velocity, Maximum Operating – VMO)
370 knots equivalent airspeed (KEAS)/426 mph/685 km/h
Maximum horizontal speed (Horizontal Velocity – VH) at sea level
323 knots true airspeed (KTAS)/372 mph/598 km/h
Max. horizontal speed (VH) at 10,000 feet/3,048 m
337 KTAS/388 mph/624 km/h
– flaps and gear up (Vs)
92 knots calibrated airspeed (KCAS)/106 mph/170 km/h
– flaps and gear down (VSO)
81 KCAS/93 mph/150 km/h
– Maximum positive
8.0 g (aerobatic category); 5.0 g (utility category)
– Maximum negative
-4.0 g (aerobatic category); -2.5 g (utility category)
720 NM/828 miles/1,333 km
Basic empty weight (typical, dep. on configuration)