At the beginning of May the first Pilatus PC-21 for French Air Force was unveiled. The swiss-made aircraft will train the future Rafale pilots.

First French Air Force PC-21 © Stephan Widmer

On December 30, 2016, the French Minister of Defense and the Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus signed a 11-year contract to provide 17 advanced PC-21 aircraft to the French Air Force (more details here).

The contract covers supply of new PC-21 turboprop aircraft, computer-aided simulators and modernized training facilities.
These 17 planes, the first one to be delivered from 2018, will be stationed at Cognac Air Base BA709 where there will be part of the training of young french pilots.

In the future the PC-21 should replace the entire fleet of Alpha Jets, today the avionics of the famous Patrouille de France's aircraft has become obsolete for the next gen pilots of the modern Rafale fighter jet.

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