Tenders are about to be sought for a new military pilot training capability says Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman.
“The requirement for a modernised pilot training system with suitable aircraft is clear and Cabinet has agreed to the next step in the process with the Ministry of Defence to issue a Request for Tender.
Pilot training is currently conducted using the single engine CT-4E Airtrainers for the primary stage and the twin engine turbo-prop King Air B200s for the advanced stage of the “Wings Course”.
The service life of the current CT-4Es is due to end in 2018 and the King Air B200s lease expires in 2018.
“The tender being offered is to supply a new permanent pilot training capability including aircraft (leased or owned), a simulator package, and a maintenance and support package, said Dr Coleman.
“We have invested in a modern generation of new and upgraded aircraft and helicopters. The Air Force’s entire operational fleet is being replaced or upgraded including modern avionics and cockpits. The tools to develop the flying standards of our trainee pilots are also required.”
“Cabinet’s eventual decision on aircraft types and ownership and maintenance options will be assessed against pricing comparisons and the ability to meet technical and performance requirements,” he said.
A Request for Information from Industry was held this year and the formal tender by the Ministry of Defence will be issued in the next few days. Cabinet is expected to consider the tender options in the latter half of next year when it receives an Implementation Business Case.