As contenders for Singapore's advanced jet trainer contest showed their wares at the Singapore air show, Switzerland's Pilatus has flown the first PC-21 turboprop trainer configured for the Republic of Singapore Air Force's Basic Wings Course flight training programme.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a 20-year contract in November 2006 to support the Basic Wings Course, with training to begin in June 2008. The contract includes 19 PC-21s.

Lockheed will provide aircraft, maintenance, simulators, courseware and simulator instructors to the RSAF's 130 Squadron based at RAAF Pearce near Perth, Western Australia. The PC-21s will replace Aermacchi S-211s.

Vying for the jet trainer deal are the Alenia Aermacchi M-346, BAE Systems Hawk 128 and Korea Aerospace/Lockheed Martin T-50. Sources suggest a request for proposals could be released later this year, with Singapore believed to be interested in a public-private partnership deal for an unspecified number of aircraft.

Source: Flight International