Singapore has delayed the acquisition of new primary and advanced trainers by at least three months to give it more time to work through the complexities of a proposed private financing initiative (PFI).

Industry sources say companies now have until the end of January to respond to a tender for the lease of up to 20 new primary trainers from 2008 to be based at Pearce air base in Western Australia. The release of an expected request for information for advanced trainers also has been delayed until the end of this year, or early next year.

Four shortlisted manufacturers have been asked to bring their primary trainers to Singapore in February for a newly added second evaluation in conjunction with the Asian Aerospace 2006 air show. Under the initial schedule, the four trainers were to be evaluated only once at the manufacturing site and a selection was to be made by February. The Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano and Raytheon T-6 have already been tested and Singapore’s evaluation team will fly the Aermacchi M311 this week and the Pilatus PC-21 next week.

Sources say Aermacchi, Israel’s Elbit Systems, Lockheed Martin and Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aero) are planning to submit bids as prime contractors. Elbit has teamed with Embraer and Australian maintenance company Airflite. Lockheed will offer the PC-21, with maintenance provided by BAE Systems Australia. ST Aero will bid the T-6 and propose using its Australian joint venture company AES, which maintains Singapore’s current fleet of Pearce-based Aermacchi S211s, to perform maintenance. Aermacchi has enlisted Bombardier, Aerodef and Qantas Defence Services as partners in its M311 bid.


Source: Flight International