T-6B Texan II training aircraft (photo : Beechcraft)
Raytheon has announced its teaming with BAE Systems to bid for the ADF’s Air 5428 Pilot Training System program.
The Raytheon led bid will centre on the Hawker Beechcraft T-6C turboprop trainer, but will also include simulators, training devices, instructors, facilities and courseware.
“I believe that by focusing on flexibility, cost and schedule management as well as the expectations of our customer, we have a unique opportunity to ensure the absolute readiness of Australia’s aviation warfighter,” said Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward.
Raytheon’s Australian military training programs include Hornet and Super Hornet aircrew training and operating the RAN’s Retention and Motivation Initiative (RMI) AgustaWestland AW109 helicopters. BAE Systems operates the Basic Flying Training School (BFTS) at Tamworth, where all initial ADF pilot training is undertaken.
No other firm teaming arrangements for Air 5428 have yet been announced, although it is widely expected that Lockheed Martin will team with Pilatus and possibly Hawker Pacific to offer a Pilatus PC-21 based solution. Other companies thought to be looking at bidding at some level include Boeing Australia and Thales.
Air 5428 will replace CT-4A training aircraft (photo : Airliners)
Air 5428 will replace the current BFTS/2FTS flight screening, initial and advanced pilot training arrangements. It will provide training through to ‘wings’ standard for RAAF pilots, and initial pilot training for Army and Navy helicopter pilots.
The T-6C is the export variant of the T-6B Texan II, as now being delivered to the US Navy, which introduced an advanced glass cockpit. Hawker Beechcraft has delivered almost 600 T-6 trainers, mostly to the US Air Force and Navy, but also to the NATO Flying Training in Canada program and the Greek air force.