PC-21 aircraft

Lockheed Martin has signed a teaming agreement with Pilatus Aircraft to submit a joint proposal, through Team 21 consortium, for the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Air 5428 pilot training system project.

Set out in the 2009 Defense Capability Plan, the AIR 5428 project aims to provide a new fixed-wing pilot training system to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Navy and Army.

The consortium, which also includes Hawker Pacific, is currently under the seventh year of a 20-year performance-based contract to deliver the pilot training basic wings course to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Raydon Gates said: "We have a proven track record of providing a flexible, low-risk solution using the PC-21 aircraft and will leverage this experience to offer a training programme that can evolve with mission requirements."

"We have a proven track record of providing a flexible, low-risk solution using the PC-21 aircraft and will leverage this experience to offer a training programme that can evolve with mission requirements."

Pilatus Aircraft chief executive officer Markus Bucher said: "It became very clear after a thorough review of potential partners that the existing alignment of Lockheed Martin, Pilatus and Hawker Pacific would deliver the best overall customer outcome, not only for the Australian Defence Force, but also for ongoing operational budgets and taxpayers, to deliver best value for money."

The team is likely to offer Pilatus PC-21 trainer as the primary flying platform, as reported by FlightGlobal.

BAE Systems has already joined forces with Beechcraft and CAE for the project in September, while other potential bidders, including Boeing, Thales and Raytheon are soon anticipated to disclose their respective partners, according to the news agency.

The pilot training systems delivered under the Air 5428 project are expected to cover all facets of undergraduate pilot training, from basic flying to entry into air force lead-in fighter and operational conversion units.


Image: Lockheed and Pilatus team is likely to offer PC-21 trainer aircraft for ADF’s Air 5428 pilot training system project. Photo: courtesy of Arpingstone.

Defence Technology