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Defence
Future French AF trainer makes first flight
Future French AF trainer makes first flight
© Pilatus

| Emmanuel Huberdeau

Future French AF trainer makes first flight

The first Pilatus PC-21 trainer for the FOMEDEC programme of the French Air Force made its first flight on 13th July. The PC-21 is part of the FOMEDEC programme to modernise the training of French fighter pilots.

The first Pilatus PC-21 trainer for the French Air Force made its first flight in Switzerland on 13th July.

The PC-21 is part of the FOMEDEC programme to moderise the training of French Air Force fighter pilots. The aim is to have a modern aircraft with the capabilities to prepare pilots for the Rafale.

The FOMEDEC contract was awarded in January to a team comprising Dassault Aviation and Babcock France. The two companies will own the aircraft and lease them to the French AF for the 11-year duration of the contract. Ownership will subsequently revert to the French AF.

The contract also includes the supply of three types of simulator and a mission preparation system. The PC-21s and the simulators will be based at Cognac air force base.

The French AF hopes to achieve initial operational capability by early 2019.

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