BAE Systems Australia has been awarded a contract worth at least A$86.6 million ($94.2 million) to provide continued basic flying training services to the Australian Defence Force.

Delivered using a fleet of Pacific Aerospace CT-4B Airtrainers, the current service will be extended by six years from January 2012 under an interim deal intended to plug the gap until replacement equipment can be sourced via Project Air 5428.

This is expected to deliver a new pilot training system from around 2015-17 to support the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy.

"Under the contract, BAE Systems will continue to provide basic flying training at Tamworth [New South Wales] using the aircraft, upgraded to meet contemporary crashworthiness requirements," the Department of Defence said. "The six-year contract includes annual extension options for up to a further six years," it said.

BAE is understood to have been competing for the interim flying training services contract against Boeing Defence Australia and a Thales Australia-led team also including Flight Training Adelaide and Hawker Pacific.

Source: Flight International