55 Pilatus PC-21 Trainers Ordered for Royal Saudi Air Force
25 May 2012
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd announced today that a contract has been signed with BAE Systems to supply the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) with a fleet of 55 Pilatus PC-21 turboprop aircraft, together with an integrated ground based training system and logistics support.
Following agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom under the Saudi British Defence Cooperation Programme (SBDCP), deliveries of the aircraft, ground based training systems and the logistics support package are scheduled to commence in 2014. The aircraft will provide basic flying training in Riyadh to the RSAF and will replace the PC-9 with the state-of-the-art PC-21 platform.
25 years have passed since the initial batch of Pilatus PC-9 training aircraft were delivered to the RSAF under an agreement with BAE Systems. The RSAF has selected the PC-21 aircraft and ground based training system following a thorough evaluation both in Stans, Switzerland, and under hot weather conditions in Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
After Switzerland, Singapore and the UAE, Saudi Arabia is now the fourth country to procure the PC-21 for training future pilots of advanced operational aircraft now coming into service with major air forces around the world.