The ‘Team 21’ grouping of Lockheed Martin Australia, Pilatus and Hawker Pacific submitted its bid for the ADF’s AIR 5428 pilot training system on March 31.
The bid, based around the Pilatus PC-21 advanced trainer, is similar to that which the same partners manage the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s Basic Wings Course (BWC) program based at RAAF Pearce. The BWC is a 20 year program managed by the industry partners, and has been running for eight years.
“Team 21 offers superior performance, a proven team in Australia and capability for the future,” Lockheed Martin Australia CEO, Raydon Gates said in a statement. “We have an established track record and have now graduated 20 classes from a Pilatus PC-21 based pilot training program at RAAF Base Pearce. BWC has very similar mission and support systems as proposed for AIR 5428, significantly reducing risk to the Commonwealth.”
The AIR 5428 project seeks to replace the RAAF’s Pilatus PC-9/A advanced trainers and the CT-4E basic trainers of the industry-run BFTS with new aircraft and a deeper level of industry support from 2017.
At least one other bid is expected to come from a teaming of BAE Systems Australia, Beechcraft and CAE Australia with a Beech T-6C based solution.