The Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, today announced that the Government has given first pass approval for a major project to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a new Pilot Training System.
“The new Pilot Training System will enhance the ADF’s ability to train highly qualified and skilled pilots to operate its next generation of airborne capabilities,” Senator Faulkner said.
“Over the coming decade, the ADF plans to replace almost all of its airborne assets with the latest generation aircraft which will require a greater number of pilots with more advanced skill-sets.”
“That replacement program will include fixed-wing new air combat aircraft to be flown by Air Force pilots and new naval aviation and troop-lift helicopters to be flown by Navy and Army pilots.”
Senator Faulkner said that the Defence Capability Plan 2009, which was released on 1 July 2009, includes the replacement of the existing ADF pilot training system with a more efficient and modern one. The system will be procured using a performance based contract for construction and delivery of pilot training.
The project, known as AIR 5428 Phase 1, will provide student pilots with the necessary training and qualifications, including theory and flight experience, to enable them to become pilots in the Navy, Army and Air Force. Through flight screening and basic and advanced training, the new Pilot Training System will prepare Air Force pilots for operational conversion and Army and Navy pilots for transfer to advanced helicopter training.
“The Government will make a final decision about the new Pilot Training System model in the period 2012-13 to 2014-15,” Senator Faulkner said. “The new system will enter service in the 2015 to 2017 timeframe.”
“Importantly, Australian industry will have the opportunity to support the delivery of this new capability.”