Finmeccanica to provide communications for new Australian PC-21 trainers
- The deal with Pilatus Aircraft Ltd will equip 49 PC-21 aircraft
- The end user is the Australian Defence Force. The systems will be used as part of the ADF’s Project Air 5428, the fixed-wing pilot training system
- The RT-700/A systems will provide secure voice and data communications
Finmeccanica, through its Airborne and Space Systems division, has been awarded a contract by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. to provide airborne communications for the 49 PC-21 turboprop trainers recently acquired by the Australian Defence Force.
The contract is the latest in a long-term partnership between the company and Pilatus Aircraft. The Swiss corporation has previously chosen Finmeccanica to equip PC-21 aircraft for use by Switzerland, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Designated RT-700/A, the new systems will provide voice and data communications in a small and lightweight package. An ETSO-certified (European Technical Standard Order) military system, RT-700/A is able to communicate in the 30-470MHz range and can transmit and receive securely when connected to an external encryption unit.
Finmeccanica’s relationship with Australia is also long-standing. The company’s surveillance and information management system is on-board ten Customs Coastwatch maritime surveillance aircraft, helping secure Australia’s shore and territorial waters. In a recent contract, Finmeccanica’s Seaspray 5000E radar was chosen to provide airborne search and rescue services for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Meanwhile, the company’s TETRA networks and ATEX terminals ensure safe communications for Australia’s transportation, mining and oil & gas industries.
In the defence domain, Finmeccanica has supplied Australia with a wide variety of technology including 13,000 Personal Role Radios to enhance soldiers’ front line communications, Guardian counter-IED systems to protect troops and driver’s night vision systems for 24/7 vehicular operations. The company is currently working to provide modernised communications systems for the Royal Australian Navy’s eight ANZAC-Class frigates as part of the SEA1442 Phase 4 programme.