Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan said the RAAF’s new PC-21 pilot training system was a significant leap forward in pilot training and would better prepare flying students for their future careers.
Mr Tehan and Darren Chester, the Member for Gippsland, viewed the new PC-21 fixed-wing training aircraft today at the Avalon International Airshow.
The PC-21 is expected to commence flying operations at RAAF East Sale in mid-2017. The Air Force will also base five of its seven PC-21 simulator flight training devices and associated facilities infrastructure at East Sale.
Mr Tehan congratulated industry partners Lockheed Martin Australia, Pilatus and 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 Government’s investment in the PC-21 system is part of our commitment to continue investing in producing highly skilled and talented Australian Defence Force personnel.”
Mr Chester said he was proud of the role his electorate played in the training of Australia’s pilots.
“We look forward to taking delivery in the not too distant future,” Mr Chester said.
“RAAF East Sale is a valuable member of our community and we look forward to producing a generation of pilots trained on the new system.”
The Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, said 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 to 5 March.