The first six new Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft have been received by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at RAAF Base East Sale. The new fleet of PC-21 aircraft will replace the PC-9/A training system, from early 2019. The ADF will now have an intake of up to 165 trainee pilots each year at RAAF Base East Sale.
“The new pilot training system is a significant leap forward and will train more of our people faster, and to a higher standard than our current system,” Minister for Defence, Marise Payne said, while adding, our future generations of Joint Strike Fighter, Wedgetail and Growler pilots will begin their training on these aircraft ensuring we have a pipeline of highly skilled trainees. “This will provide the Australian Defence Force with a tailored pilot training system to meet the needs of our pilots for the next 30 years,” she said.
Over $300 million is being invested in new state of the art training facilities, under Project AIR 5428, which will see the installation of seven new PC-21 flight simulators, both at RAAF Base East Sale and at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth.
The new facilities in Sale will be constructed by September 2018.
The PC-9/As have been in service since 1987.