Australia has formally accepted Lockheed Martin Australia’s training system under the AIR5428 acquisition contract.

The training system for navy, army, and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) pilots involves partners Pilatus and Jet Aviation, and is centred on the Pilatus PC-21 basic trainer.

So far, the system has graduated 35 air force pilots, as well as 11 for the navy and 27 for the army.

“Lockheed Martin Australia proudly welcomes the Commonwealth’s acceptance of the AIR5428 pilot training system,” says Warren McDonald, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.

“This is a significant programme milestone for Lockheed Martin Australia, our industry partners and the Commonwealth, as it signifies that this innovative system has been successfully delivered and offers enduring training capability to meet the [Australian Defence Force’s] requirements. We look forward to advancing and sustaining the AIR5428 pilot training system with excellence and in conjunction with our Team 21 partners and the RAAF.”

Source: Lockheed Martin

Australia's AIR5428 Pilot Training System

The acceptance of the training system follows the achievement of several milestones, including over 3,500 flight simulator and 10,000 aircraft flying events, over “97% mission success” against performance metrics, and meeting performance measures related to the ground school.

In December 2019, Australia’s defence ministry said that the RAAF had taken delivery of all 49 PC-21s, following the 2015 deal with the Lockheed team.

The A$1.5 billion ($1 billion) aircraft acquisition replaced the PC-9/A, which the RAAF had operated for three decades.