The federal government has contracted Lockheed Martin Australia to provide and support the Australian Defence Force’s new pilot training system, after the company was named as the preferred tenderer for the AIR 5428 project in September.
Under the acquisition and services contracts, which are worth $1.2 billion, Lockheed Martin will deliver 49 Pilatus PC-21 trainers, seven flight simulators, a modern learning environment for students and updated courseware, along with support for an initial seven-year term.
Basic flying training will be delivered at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria. The first courses will begin in early 2019 with an annual intake of up to 165 trainee pilots, and will allow the ADF to increase the number of graduates from 77 to 105 each year.
“For the first time in Australia, pilot training will include simulators in undergraduate training; this will become the new benchmark for training and preparing military pilots for fourth and fifth-generation platforms,” said Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne.
“Defence looks forward to a long-term partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia as together we embark on this exciting new phase of pilot training for the ADF.”