The first two Pilatus PC21 turboprop trainers to train French fighter pilots landed at Cognac air base on August 30, 2018 for pre-delivery controls.
The aircraft will become part of a new training system which aims to renew both the equipment and the training methods used to train pilots, navigators and weapons systems officers.
The new aircraft are being delivered under a contract awarded by the Directorate General of Armament (DGA) to Babcock Mission Critical Services France in December 2016, a DGA statement said last Thursday.
The contract includes a fleet of 17 Pilatus PC 21 turboprop training aircraft, 2 Full Mission simulators and 3 coaches, mission preparation and retrieval tools, as well as associated infrastructure.
The equipment will become the property of the Ministry of the Armed Forces in 2022. All the equipment will be delivered in early 2019 to ensure the training of the first class in the summer of 2019.