Yesterday at the Avalon International Airshow, in a milestone for Project Air 5428 Pilot Training Program, the Lockheed Martin-led Team 21 welcomed the arrival of the first two of 49 PC-21 aircraft with the Royal Australian Air Force.
The Pilatus PC-21 will form part of Australia’s new Pilot Training System; a system designed to train next-generation pilots faster and to a higher standard.
The occasion was celebrated at a media event hosted by Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies and also attended by Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan and Amy Gowder, vice president and general manager of Training and Logistics Solutions for Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems business, who presented the Chief of Air Force with a painting of the aircraft.
(L-R) Amy Gowder, Lockheed Martin; Darren Chester MP; Dan Tehan, Minister for Defence Personnel; Rob Oliver, Pilatus Australia; and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies. Credit: Lockheed Martin
“Today’s event marks 14 months since we signed the Air 5428 contract with the Australian Defence Force,” Gowder said. “Much progress has been made, not just in the delivery of the aircraft here today, but also we are well prepared to deliver the first flight training device later this year.”
“We recognise that for the next few decades and beyond every pilot that graduates from this program will be key to delivering the fifth-generation aviation capability of the Navy, Army and Air Force.”
Lockheed Martin and its industry partners Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific are responsible for delivering the Air 5428 Pilot Training System.
Delivery of the first Air 5428 Flight Training Device system is expected in August 2017. Air Force will also base five of its seven PC-21 simulator flight training devices and associated facilities infrastructure at East Sale.
Minister Tehan congratulated industry partners Lockheed Martin Australia, Pilatus and Hawker Pacific and the new aircrew training project office for their work on the project.
“This new training system will train more people, faster, and to a higher standard than our current aircraft.”