Singapore’s defence ministry (MinDef) has announced its selection of the Pilatus PC-21 to replace its air force (RSAF) Aermacchi S-211 trainers in a public/private partnership (PPP) team led by Lockheed Martin.

The deal allows the Swiss manufacturer to launch serial production of the PC-21 trainer at its faciliti in Stans, near Lucerne. The 19 aircraft will be based at Pearce Royal Australian Air Force base in Bullsbrook, Western Australia.  Hawker Pacific will provide aircraft maintenance services. 

A team led by Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support (LMSTS) will supply and maintain 19 PC-21s (pictured below in Swiss colours) and ground-based training equipment from 2008 under the Basic Wings Course (BWC) deal. Singapore also evaluated the Alenia Aermacchi M-311, Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano and Raytheon T-6 Texan II for the requirement.

Oscar Schwenk, Pilatus chairman says: "This is one of the first PPP training systems in the world and is the result of pioneering innovation by the Singaporean government, LMSTS, Pilatus and Hawker Pacific. We are also delighted to be one of the first in what will be, I am sure, a growing market for PPP training solutions."

The private partnership will  allow the RSAF to focus on the core business of flying training, says the Singaporean government. With modern avionics and a training suite to simulate air and ground targets for basic fighter training, the turboprop PC-21 aircraft will come with advanced technologies to enhance the basic training and proficiency of RSAF pilot trainees, MinDef adds.

"BWC is unique in the world of military flight training,” says Dale Bennett, president of LMSTS.  “We are taking a systems integration approach to training and providing the RSAF with a true turnkey programme – everything from courseware to cockpits – that will serve the republic [of Singapore] and its pilot trainees for the next 20 years.”

PC21s in formation W445