The Finnish Air Force will take delivery of the first of six PC-12 NG passenger and cargo transport aircraft from Switzerland in July.

The air force signed a €22.5m ($33m) contract with Swiss firm Pilatus Aircraft to purchase the six aircraft in 2009.

The aircraft will replace the air force’s six twin-engined Piper Chieftains, nine Valmet Redigos and seven Piper Arrows.

The PC-12 NG, a single-engined turboprop aircraft, can be reconfigured quickly for different missions and can be fitted with nine passenger seats.

The Finnish Air Force’s fleet of PC-12 NG will be painted grey and will carry the type designator PI.

The first Finnish pilots to fly the PC-12 NG, which is now undergoing flight tests, will begin training in Switzerland this month.