The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) selected Pilatus to provide a complete pilot training system based on the PC-21 turboprop trainer. The package will include ground-based training devices and extensive logistics support and maintenance. The newly established QEAF air academy will receive the first of 24 aircraft in 2014 so that training can start in mid-2015. Pilatus has signed a long-term performance-based support contract.
The new order comes just weeks after neighboring Saudi Arabia selected the PC-21 as part of a training package devised by BAE Systems. Singapore, Switzerland and the UAE also previously opted for the Swiss turboprop, and the Qatar order takes the total sales tally for the PC-21 to 124. The aircraft is also being offered by the BAE Systems/Babcock consortium for the UK’s Military Flying Training System (MFTS) fixed-wing service contract.
Two months ago, the Indian air force confirmed the biggest single deal in the Swiss company’s history: a contract for 75 PC-7 Mk II basic trainers, with an option on another 106 aircraft license-built in India.