Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR Feb 2014 Contents 14 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter feb 2014
is less than initially expected. However, it is believed
that the reduced number of queries is a result of the
draft RFT having been issued in Feb 2013, which itself
resulted in around 400 clarification questions.”
Defence noted that “Questions have been presented
to Defence in response to the RFT from up to ten
international defence contractor organisations.” This
is further confirmation that this will be a pair of keenly
contested PTS contracts.
LOCKHEED MARTIN / PILATUS /
Last October, Lockheed Martin informed defence
media, including APDR, "Lockheed Martin and
Pilatus Aircraft, supported by Hawker Pacific, today
announced a teaming agreement to compete for pilot
training for the Australian Defence Force.
"The consortium, known as Team 21, will compete
for the AIR 5428 pilot training system program. This
team is currently in its seventh year of a 20-year
performance-based contract to provide the Pilot
Training Basic Wings Course to the Republic of
Singapore Air Force.
“Our team builds on an existing and highly
successful relationship between Lockheed Martin and
Pilatus Aircraft,” said Raydon Gates, Lockheed Martin
Australia chief executive. “We have a proven track
record of providing a flexible, low-risk solution using
the PC-21 aircraft and will leverage this experience to
offer a training program that can evolve with mission
Many experienced observers consider that this
consortium is the front runner for the AIR 5428 PTS,
but this is based on external assessment, without
being privy to full details of this consortium’s tender
submission and the Project Team’s current thinking.
BAE SYSTEMS / CAE / BEECHCRAFT
BAE Systems state that for 21 years, they have helped
deliver Australia’s basic military flight training.
Their position is "We have partnered with Beechcraft
and CAE to offer the ADF an integrated pilot training
system. Today our team stands ready to deliver the
Australian Defence Force’s (ADF’s) future pilot training
system, with a solution focused solely on producing
the very best military aviators.
"The team’s solution will bring together BAE
Systems’ extensive training, systems integration and
sustainment capabilities; CAE’s leading simulation,
training and support services; and Beechcraft’s
renowned T-6C mission system.
"BAE Systems, Beechcraft and CAE offer the
ADF a strong, experienced and complementary team
that understands the Australian environment and the
training requirements of the Navy, Army and Air Force.
"Designed to meet the needs of undergraduate pilot
training for the United States, Canada and other NATO
air forces, the T-6C has amassed more than two million
flying hours and has proven its ability as a versatile,
What they haven’t mentioned is that Beechcraft
have had significant financial problems in recent
years, coming out of bankruptcy in February 2013,
then subsequently it was announced they were to be
acquired in 2014 by Textron, already owner of Cessna
Industry commentary suggests that Beechcraft’s
future is in commercial rather than military aircraft. So
despite coming from a company with a distinguished
record, would the T-6C (shown at the Avalon Air Show
2013) be a good acquisition in the long term?
WHO ELSE MIGHT SUBMIT TENDERS?
Boeing, Finnmeccanica, and Thales can also expect to
announce bids. Possibly Embraer, Northrop Grumman
and other major international aerospace companies
have formed or will form consortia and bid.
The Grob 120 side-by-side training aircraft has its
supporters, so Defence will not be surprised to see
this feature in some of the tender responses.
There are many specialist potential suppliers whose
products would be attractive for a PTS, but who could
be selected irrespective of which grouping gets short-
listed at the end of the initial tender evaluation process.
When APDR raised this with Defence, a very
firm legalistic and contractual response was given.
“Defence will not consider part tenders except as
detailed in the RFT (Conditions of Tender, clause
4.10), which requires that one entity perform all of
the obligations under the Acquisition Contract and
a second entity fulfils all of the obligations under the
“Defence will not consider offers for part tenders
from specialist suppliers during the RFT process.
“However, specialist suppliers may be involved in
consortia or engaged as subcontractors already or at
later stages in the RFT process (for example, following
“Defence does not have visibility of those
arrangements at this stage in the RFT process.”
With a ticking clock on the Life-of-Type for the existing
PC-9/A training aircraft, and the current public version
of the Defence Capability Plan indicating the Year-of-
Decision to be FY2014-15 to 2015-16, hopefully there
will be a short list later in 2014.
The timings that follow are approximations based
on current expectations in the RFT, and are not fixed.
Second Pass Approval (SPA), will have to come during
FY 2014-15 to give any chance of getting the new
PTS in place within a reasonable time from withdrawal
of the PC-9s. The In Service Date (ISD) could then
be another 21 months, with IOC 18 months later, and
FOC 3 years after that.
Assume, hypothetically, SPA was achieved by
September 2014. Then ISD could be June 2016, and
IOC December 2017, 18 months after the current
PC-9 LOT expiry in June 2016.
For such a critical project, the PTS Project Team
must be given every opportunity by Defence to deliver
their project on or before schedule, to ensure that
the huge investments in new aircraft coming on line
in all three Services can be available operationally to
Using a model of the CT4B training aircraft, Australian Defence Force Basic Flying
School (ADF BFTS) Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) Flight Lieutenant Matthew
Jurkans, conducts a post flight training brief, with student Midshipman Alex Clothier.
28/01/14 3:18 PM
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