Finmeccanica to provide communications system for Australian PC-21 aircraft


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Finmeccanica has secured a contract to provide airborne communications for the PC-21 turboprop trainer aircraft fleet of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Under the terms of the deal, the company will equip 49 PC-21 aircraft with RT-700/A systems as part of Project Air 5428, the fixed-wing pilot training system.

The new communication systems, which are compliant with the European Technical Standard Order (ETSO), are expected to provide secure voice and data communications to the aircraft.

The new military communication system is capable of transmitting and receiving securely when connected to an external encryption unit in the 30-470MHz range.

Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68B turboprop engine, the PC-21 is a low-wing swept monoplane advanced trainer aircraft designed to fulfil the requirements for basic, advanced and fighter lead-in training for pilots and, if required, weapon systems officers (WSO).

The aircraft features a fully digital glass cockpit with head-up displays, an up-front control panel (UFPC), a hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control, and full sized multi-function displays.

"The new military communication system is capable of transmitting and receiving securely when connected to an external encryption unit in the 30-470MHz range."

Previously, the company was selected to equip PC-21 aircraft for use by Switzerland, Singapore, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia

Currently, Australia employs Finmeccanica's surveillance and information management system for maritime surveillance. Ten Customs Coastwatch maritime surveillance aircraft are equipped with the surveillance system.

Additionally, under the terms of a recent contract, the company's Seaspray 5000E radar will provide airborne search-and-rescue services for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Last week, the company secured a contract to provide radar warning receiver SEER to the Indonesian Air Force.


Image: A PC-21 aircraft. Photo: © 2016 - Finmeccanica S.p.a.