Pilatus Aircraft has been awarded a contract for supply of PC-21 turboprop trainer aircraft and associated support services to the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).
Under the terms of the unspecified contract, the company will deliver a complete PC-21 training system, which includes a fleet of 24 aircraft, a suite of ground-based training systems, and a comprehensive logistics support and maintenance package.
The aircraft has been selected as QEAF’s fixed-wing basic and advanced training aircraft, following a detailed evaluation process in both Switzerland and Qatar.
The new aircraft is scheduled to be employed by the air force to help support the training of young aviators in the newly established Air Force Academy in Qatar, from the middle of 2015.
The first of the 24 aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the middle of 2014, while the ground-based training system will be directly supported by Pilatus under a long-term performance-based support contract that also include maintenance activities.
Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68B turboprop engine, the Pilatus 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), hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control and full sized multi-function displays, to enable the basic and advanced flying training to keep pace with the fourth generation aircraft already in service in the front line squadrons.
Apart from Qatar, the aircraft has also been ordered by Singapore, Switzerland, UAE and Saudi air forces.
Image: PC-21 turboprop trainer will be used by Qatar Air Force Academy for basic flight training. Photo: courtesy of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.