France orders PC-21 training aircraft

Pilatus
The French Air Force is set to receive 17 PC-21 pilot training aircraft. (Pilatus)

Pilatus Aircraft has announced the signing of three PC-21 pilot training aircraft orders, together worth the equivalent of more than $400 million.

The French Air Force is set to receive 17 of the aircraft, which will be used to train future military pilots, and two are destined for the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

Meanwhile, QinetiQ has placed an order with Pilatus for two PC-21 aircraft that will be based at MoD Boscombe Down, marking the first step in the company’s modernisation of the Empire Test Pilots’ School fleet.

The Australian Defence Force has ordered 49 of the aircraft, with the first two PC-21s due to arrive in Australia in mid-2017.

Comments

  1. John N says

    B Harrison,

    I would imagine that until the PC-21 replacement fleet reaches FOC and the PC-9’s are no longer required, for any role, we may not know of the planned disposal process.

    But as history has shown, their certainly does appear to be ‘life’ after RAAF service for ‘similar’ type aircraft.

    A lot of the surviving Winjeel trainers have found a place in the Warbird community, and a number of the CT-4A’s too.

    The CT-4B’s are still ‘active’ with BAE in Tamworth (so there is another one to ‘watch’ for the future too).

    The one question mark would be, the PC-9’s are still ‘relatively’ young aircraft (by some nations standards), they could be sold off as a ‘job lot’ to a foreign nation to continue in their role in the first instance.

    Or, hopefully, they do eventually end up in the ‘warbird’ community, and hopefully mostly here in Oz too!

    Cheers,

    John N

  2. That Ron guy says

    Only 17 for the French? Their air force is bigger than ours yet we’re buying almost 3 times as many. After a quick look at their order of battle on the ever-reliable Wikipedia, it would seem the PC-21’s would be replacing 1980’s vintage Socata TB-30 aircraft, of which they have approx 33 still in service.

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