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Australia officially takes delivery of AIR5428 pilot training system

Australian Pilatus PC-21 trainer
Royal Australian Air Force file photo of a Pilatus PC-21 trainer

The Australian Armed Forces have taken delivery of the new pilot training system developed under project AIR5428, Lockheed Martin Australia, one of the contractors on the project, confirmed.

The new training capability was delivered by a team composed of Lockheed Martin, Pilatus and Jet Aviation.

While Lockheed Martin did not specify when exactly the system was officially handed over, it did say 35 air force, 11 navy and 27 army pilots had been trained on it so far.

It is worth noting that the final of 49 Pilatus PC-21 trainers that constitute the training system was handed over to Australia in December 2019.

In addition to trainer aircraft delivered by Pilatus, the AIR5428 pilot training system (PTS) includes flight simulators, cockpit trainers, and mission planning tools.

“Lockheed Martin Australia proudly welcomes the Commonwealth’s acceptance of the AIR 5428 PTS,” head of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Warren McDonald said.

“This is a significant program 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 ADF’s requirements.”

The next step in Australia’s pilot training capability will be the introduction of Phase 3 of AIR5428. This phase will deliver an Aviation Mission Training System (AMTS) that will be used to train the RAAF’s mission aviators, including electronic warfare officers, maritime patrol and response officers, air battle managers, air traffic controllers, and other mission specialists.

The AMTS is to be deployed at the Air Academy located at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria, and will feature a comprehensive training solution, including ground-based and airborne training and a digitally-enabled integrated learning environment.

Simulation systems specialist CAE announced last week that CAE Australia Pty Ltd. had signed a teaming agreement with Nova Systems to join Team AUStringer, which will respond to an Australian defense ministry solicitation for Phase 3 of AIR5428.

Under terms of the teaming agreement, Nova Systems will support the CAE-led Team AUStringer with professional and engineering services, including leveraging Nova Systems’ experience with the introduction into service of the AIR 5428 Phase 1 program.