RAAF takes final deliveries of PC-21 trainer

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of all 49 Pilatus PC-21 basic trainers ordered under a 2015 deal with a training consortium comprising Lockheed Martin, Pilatus, and Hawker Pacific.

The aircraft are based at RAAF East Sale in Victoria and RAAF Peirce in Western Australia, says a defence ministry statement. They were acquired under the A$1.5 billion AIR5428 project to replace the legacy fleet of PC-9/As, which Canberra has operated for three decades.

“Undergraduate pilots at RAAF Bases East Sale and Pearce will now be able to use the best equipment along with a new tailored Pilot Training System, which will meet their needs and those of future recruits,” says Darren Chester, minister for veterans and defence personnel.

The RAAF Roulettes display team has operated the PC-21 since early 2019.

Commonwealth of Australia

“The new system can train more people faster and to a higher standard and will ensure undergraduate pilots develop the necessary skills before moving to more advanced military aircraft.”

The aircraft will also be used at RAAF Edinburgh for flight test and evaluation, and at RAAF Edinburgh for forward air control.