In a recent ceremony that marked a significant milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System, Lockheed Martin celebrated the Chief of Air Force first flight of the in-service PC-21 aircraft.
The occasion was celebrated at a media event hosted by Australian Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne, in East Sale, Australia. Also in attendance was the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, highlighting the significance of the program to the Australian Government.
Vince Di Pietro, chief executive for Lockheed Martin Australia attended the event along with AIR 5428 partners Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific.
"We are excited to celebrate this momentous occasion with the CAF and recognise this marks the beginning of training for Australia's fifth-generation air capability," said Vince Di Pietro. "This milestone is a great achievement to all involved and we celebrate the Australian Defence Force's first flight in service and acceptance of the first six of 49 PC-21 aircraft, as the mainstay trainer for Australia's pilot training program for decades to come."
"Combining the PC-21 turboprop training aircraft with state-of-the-art training simulations and an electronic learning environment, Australia's new Pilot Training System will prepare Australia's next-generation pilots for mission success."
The AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is an integrated solution tailored for all future pilots of the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army.
"Lockheed Martin Australia leads the delivery of integrated solutions for all future pilots of the Australian Defence Force," said Amy Gowder, vice president of Training and Logistics Solutions for Lockheed Martin's Rotary and Mission Systems business. "This milestone is an important achievement, and confirms the Lockheed Martin-led team is on track to deliver a world-class pilot training solution to the Australian Defence Force."
Under the AIR 5428 contract, Lockheed Martin is providing overall project management for the pilot training system and delivering a family of integrated ground-based training technologies. Pilatus Aircraft is providing 49 PC-21 turboprop training aircraft and through-life engineering and airworthiness support, while Hawker Pacific is providing maintenance services and fleet support, and leveraging its established supply chain in Australia.
Signed in December 2015, the initial seven-year AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is valued at AU$1.2 billion, with performance-based options to extend the value and length of the contract for up to 25 years.