UAE Orders PC-21 Turboprop Trainers
During the 2009 Dubai airshow, the United Arab Emirates signed a contract with Pilatus to buy 25 PC-21 intermediate trainer aircraft, in a package worth $511 million. That package also covers several training simulators and associated systems and services. The UAE will join Switzerland and Singapore as PC-21 operators; earlier PC-7 and PC-9 designs are widely used around the world. Pilatus | Dubai Airshow 09.
UAE Air Force flight training takes place at Al-Ain near the Omani border, beginning with basic training on Grob 115s. The PC-21s will replace the existing Pilatus PC-7 fleet. An expected contract for Alenia’s M346 advanced jet trainers will replace the BAE Hawks, and possibly the Alenia MB-339As, that are currently used in the lead-in-fighter trainer (LIFT) and instructor trainer roles. Staff Major General Pilot Faris Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Chief of Logistics Staff, United Arab Emirates GHQ Armed Forces:
“These [PC-21] aircraft will be used for basic and combat operational training which will help train pilots in modern systems, such as navigation, radar, early warning, night vision, thermal cameras and data link systems. They will also help in training them in launching munitions, bombs, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.”