The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has selected Lockheed Martin Australia as the preferred tenderer for the new Australian Defence Force (ADF) pilot training system.
The contract will cover delivery of the ADF’s Basic Flying Training from RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria.
The programme will see the supply of 49 Pilatus PC-21 aircraft, of which 22 new aircraft will be based at RAAF Base East Sale.
Royal Australian Air Force chief air marshal Leo Davies said: "The new pilot training system will enable us to use the latest in simulator technology that can be adapted to student needs and different learning styles to allow students to progress through training faster.
"This will create efficiencies for pilot training and allow more flexibility for our student pilots."
The East Sale base will receive up to 165 trainee pilots from 2019 and the number of graduates will be increased from 77 to 105 pilots each year.
With the new training system, Australian defence authorities will be able to enhance future pilot training, co-locating multiple training facilities to support both Officer Training and Basic Flying Training at RAAF Base Sale.
In addition, it will make sure that the undergraduate pilots develop the necessary knowledge and skills before moving onto aircraft such as the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, and MRH-90 helicopter.
However, the current Basic Flying Training System contractor in Tamworth, BAE Systems Australia, will continue to deliver the ADF with basic pilot training until the end of 2019.