PICTURE: First Saudi PC-21 trainer breaks cover

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Saudi Arabia's first PC-21 trainer has emerged in its future service livery at Pilatus's Stans manufacturing facility in Switzerland.

Drawn from a 55-unit order signed in May 2012, Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft 901 has made its first ground engine runs, ahead of a flight debut that is likely to be performed within the next couple of months. Deliveries to the service will start during 2014, as part of a deal including 22 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers.

saudi arabian pc-21 stephan widmer

Stephan Widmer 

Pilatus's current order book for the PC-21 includes 24 examples to be manufactured for Qatar. The type is already in operational service with the air forces of Singapore, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.