Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan and Darren Chester MP viewed the new RAAF PC-21 fixed-wing training aircraft today at the Avalon International Airshow.
Stock image of a PC-21 aircraft supplied by Lockheed Martin and Pilatus.
Mr Tehan said the new PC-21 pilot training system was a significant leap forward in pilot training and would better prepare flying students for their future careers.
The PC-21 is expected to commence flying operations at RAAF Base East Sale in mid this year.
RAAF will also base five of its seven PC-21 simulators and associated facilities infrastructure at East Sale.
Mr Tehan congratulated industry partners Lockheed Martin, Pilatus, 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,” Mr Tehan said.
“Our RAAF pilots are among the best in the world, and the investment in the PC-21 system is part of our commitment to continue investing in producing highly skilled and talented Australian Defence Force personnel.”
Chief of the Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies said the aircraft was only part of the story.
“We will be able to prepare our students better for their future flying careers with the highly complex mission and system training required to operate our modern aircraft,” Air Marshal Davies said.
“Air Force is planning to commence PC-21-based training of undergraduate students in pilots’ course and flying instructors’ course in early 2019.”
The PC-21 aircraft is on display at the airshow until 5 March.