Minister for Defence - New ADF Pilot Training System

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Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Defence

Media contact
  • Henry Budd (Minister Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
  • Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

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8 December 2015

The Australian Government has contracted Lockheed Martin Australia to provide and support the new Australian Defence Force 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 Senator the Hon 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 and Advanced Flying Training continuing to be delivered from RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia. 

The contracts will 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, Minister Payne said.

“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.”

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 in the number of pilot graduates from 77 to 105 pilots each year.


Media note:
Imagery from today’s contract signing will be available through the Defence Image Library:

Media contacts:
Henry Budd (Senator Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999


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