Lockheed Martin Australia today signed a billion-dollar contract with the Australian government to provide and support the new ADF Pilot Training System.
The acquisition and services contracts, worth $1.2 billion, will see Lockheed Martin Australia deliver 49 Pilatus PC-21 aircraft, seven flight simulators, a modern learning environment for students, updated courseware, along with support for an initial seven-year term.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the new training system would ensure undergraduate pilots developed the necessary knowledge and skills before progressing to advanced military aircraft.
“Pilots will receive training for aircraft including the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, MH60R Seahawk helicopter, and MRH-90 helicopter,” Minister Payne said.
“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.”
The contracts will see the ADF’s Basic Flying Training delivered from RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria with Advanced Flying Training continuing at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia.
Minister Payne said the contracts would provide some 180 contractor jobs throughout Australia as part of the ongoing support and provide replacement aircraft for 4 Squadron and the Aircraft Research and Development Unit.
“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.
“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 pilot graduates from 77 to 105 pilots each year.”