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BAE Systems 'lands Australia interim basic flying training contract'

Australia's Department of Defence is believed to be in discussions with BAE Systems Australia on the details of its interim basic flying training contract.

Late in 2009 the DoD released a request for tender for the contract, which is designed to bridge the Australian Defence Force's training gap between the conclusion of BAE's flying training contract at the end of December 2011 and the start of a new pilot training system under Project Air 5428. Initial operational capability for the latter is planned for 2015-17.

BAE Systems, Boeing Defence Australia and Thales Australia, the latter in a team with Flight Training Adelaide and Hawker Pacific, are believed to have submitted bids for the basic flying training tender, which closed in February.

The tender evaluation process has been completed and the preferred tenderer has been notified, confirms the DoD, but no final decision on the contract has been made pending resolution of "a number of issue", it adds.

In its bid, BAE proposed its Tamworth, New South Wales, training facility, believing it to offer the best value for money and ensuring to maintain existing training standards. BAE has been providing the defence force with basic flying training and screening at Tamworth since 1992, currently operating Pacific Aerospace CT-4s. Boeing and Thales submitted bids based at West and East Sale, Victoria, respectively, both proposing to use the Grob 120A.

Meanwhile, the DoD says that planning for future tender activities - namely Air 5428 - is under way, with the 2015-17 timeframe still being targeted.

A decision on the announcement is expected in November.

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