Lockheed Martin and Pilatus Aircraft have conducted an initial production test flight of the first PC-21 training aircraft as part of the estimated $896.8 million AIR 5428 Pilot Training System Program contract signed in 2015.
Lockheed said Thursday it will supply integrated ground-based training technologies and pilot training system project management to support future pilots in Australia’s air force, navy and army under the contract.
Pilatus Aircraft will deliver the PC-21 turboprop aircraft and perform engineering and airworthiness support,while Hawker Pacific will conduct maintenance services and fleet support.
Australia has scheduled the PC-21 aircraft delivery to occur by June 2017 once tests and verifications in Switzerland and Australia have been completed.
Raydon Gates, chief executive for Lockheed’s Australia and New Zealand business, said the aircraft is designed to act as the backbone of Australian defense force’s pilot training for the next 25 years.
The PC-21’s initial flight took place seven months after the original contract award, Pilatus Chairman Oscar Schwenk said.