Botswana signs deal for Pilatus PC-7 Mk II trainers

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Botswana is to receive five new PC-7 Mk II turboprop trainers from Swiss manufacturer Pilatus.

Signed in the Botswanan capital Gaborone on 13 April, the roughly SFr40 million ($44.8 million) contract also includes the provision by Pilatus of a ground-based training system, plus spare parts, logistics support and training for pilots and technicians. The aircraft and all associated equipment should be delivered by early 2013, the company says.

The Botswana Defence Force operates a fleet of six PC-7s, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. The most recent of these entered use in 1990, it says.

"The decision confirms the continued trust that the Botswana Defence Force places in Pilatus and the Pilatus aircraft as a training system," the company says.

Botswana's order will lead to a resumption of production of the PC-7 Mk II, which MiliCAS says is already flown by the air forces of Brunei, Malaysia and South Africa.

 
© Pilatus

Pilatus is performing a glass cockpit upgrade to the South African Air Force's 35-strong fleet of the type, with 10 aircraft having been modified by the end of 2010.

The company could also be the recipient of a follow-on order to equip Malaysia with a further 12 examples, an industry source suggested late last year.