PC-21 trainer

Lockheed Martin’s Australia-led Team 21 comprising Pilatus and Hawker Pacific has submitted a proposal for the Air 5428 pilot training system to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The comprehensive pilot training solution is expected to provide ADF with a fifth generation training system, delivering a safe, affordable and practical solution for the existing training needs, while supporting future requirements.

Team 21 companies are currently in the eighth year of a 20-year performance-based flight training contract to provide the Basic Wings Course (BWC) to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), at the Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce in Western Australia.

Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Raydon Gates said the team offers superior performance, a proven team in Australia and capability for the future.

"We have an established track record and have now graduated 20 classes from a Pilatus PC-21 based pilot training programme at RAAF Base Pearce," Gates said.

"BWC has very similar mission and support systems as proposed for AIR 5428, significantly reducing risk to the Commonwealth."

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"The comprehensive pilot training solution is expected to provide ADF with a fifth generation training system."

Pilatus chief executive officer Markus Bucher said: "Team 21’s proven experience provides an excellent foundation for a cost-effective, off-the-shelf solution tailored to prepare Australian Navy, Army and Air Force pilots for fourth and fifth generation aircraft capability."

Even though the consortium did not disclose the primary flying platform, it is expected to be Pilatus PC-21 trainer, as reported earlier by Flightglobal.

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 pilot training systems delivered under the 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: Team21 is expected to offer PC-21 trainer aircraft for ADF’s Air 5428 pilot training system project. Photo: courtesy of Arpingstone.

Defence Technology