The [Swedish] Air Force's current training aircraft, the Saab SK 60, has many years of service, but now the government has given FMV an authorization to procure a complete flight training system for the first phase of the pilot training. This includes aircraft, simulators, safety equipment and maintenance.
Before the Swedish Armed Forces pilots flew Gripen, they had spent many hours side by side with an instructor in an SK 60, or Saab 105 as the plane is named in its civilian version. The twin-engined training airplane has been the basis of all flight training for pilots since the 1960s, now FMV is working to procure a new school airplane with associated equipment.
The Air Force is in great need of a new school airplane as well as all associated systems for training future pilots. The existing school aircraft, SK60, flew for the first time in 1963. Since then, much has happened in the aviation industry and in the Air Force, both in terms of technology but also how it is intended that future pilots should be trained.
“The procurement that FMV is now carrying out and which the government has authorized is a complete so-called Basic Trainer Aircraft system for the first phase of the training,” says Andreas Säf Pernselius, FMV project manager.
The goal is for the education system to be ready at Malmen in Linköping for the first batch of pilot students in the summer of 2023. And before that, flight instructors should be able to fly into the system.
“It is a very tight timeline but the Air Force's clear requirement is that the system should be based on existing products and that there should be no Swedish special solutions. The supplier will also be responsible for maintenance for the first three years with an option for another two years. The idea then is to postpone the competitive maintenance contract,” says Malin Olofsson, strategic buyer.
It is a team effort to develop the documentation required for a competitive procurement of this kind. It is important that the bidders receive a good basis for their tenders, which also facilitates when we evaluate the tenders. This is stated by strategic buyer Malin Olofsson and project manager Andreas Säf Pernselius.
FMV has conducted feasibility studies at different times and with different intensity, conducted a market study via a so-called RFI and developed a basis for the procurement of a complete education system. Due to various reasons, the procurement has on several occasions been postponed in the future. When FMV received information that the government was close to deciding on the issue, a project team was quickly put together.
“We gathered staff from different areas of expertise within FMV. The team worked on compiling the procurement documentation such as the technical specification, the specification for the undertaking and the request documentation,” says Malin Olofsson.
The challenges during the completion of the tender documentation for the procurement have been to gather all stakeholders affected by the school aviation system, including several departments and competencies within FMV. The project also works closely with the Air Force's representatives.
“Creating such a comprehensive foundation as we have now done is not possible without all the stakeholders from the beginning and that everyone has an open mind to the task and can handle rapid changes, it is best done together as a team,” says Andreas Säf Pernselius .
The parts that will be included in the contract and the contract are:
-- flight safety equipment (helmets, mask, lifejacket, parachute, etc.)
-- Part Task Trainer (simpler PC type simulators)
-- CBT (Computer Based Training)
-- TLS (Through Life Support), engineering support for the product's life
-- aircraft maintenance (operational aircraft on the line and heavy maintenance)
-- maintenance of simulators
The tender documentation will be available on the eAvrop website until 31 July 2020.
FMV then starts evaluating the tenders that have been received.