The Swiss Air Force is to expand its PC-21 Jet Pilot Training System (JEPAS) with a follow-up order for 2 additional PC-21 turboprop training aircraft with logistics and engineering services, plus another debriefing system. The contract with armasuisse, the Procurement and Technology Unit of the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), was signed in Stans on 17 December 2010, and is worth some 30 million Swiss francs. Delivery is scheduled for the first half of 2012.
The Swiss Air Force took delivery of a fleet of six Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft in summer 2008. Since 2009, young Swiss Air Force pilots transfer directly to the F/A-18 fighter jet after basic training on the NCPC-7 and thorough instruction on the PC-21 Jet Pilot Training System (JEPAS). The PC-21’s state-of-the- art cockpit is designed to simulate the functionalities of a modern combat aircraft and enables the operator to train pertinent skills at a very early stage of training. As a result, trainee pilots can safely bypass the expensive jet trainer phase.
“The Swiss Air Force has achieved its main goal in purchasing the PC-21s, which is to train future military pilots to a higher standard in a shorter timeframe with the help of a high-performance, cost-effective training system designed to allow a direct transfer to the F/A-18 fighter jet. We are tremendously proud of the Swiss Air Force for their pioneering work! Our innovative PC-21 training system is creating a stir, and has also attracted the attention of numerous other air forces”, said Oscar J. Schwenk, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Pilatus.