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Qatar orders Swiss training aircraft

July 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM

STANS, Switzerland, July 23 (UPI) -- The air force of the emirate of Qatar is acquiring 24 trainer aircraft and related items from Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. of Switzerland.

The value of the acquisition package wasn't disclosed but Pilatus said it is for PC-21 trainer aircraft, a suite of ground-based training system equipment and extensive logistics support and maintenance.

The PC-21 is a single-engine turboprop with a stepped tandem cockpit. It has a maximum speed of 428 miles per hour, a range of more than 800 miles and a ceiling of 38,000 feet. It was introduced into service in 2008 and is used by four military forces, including Switzerland's.

Pilatus said the Qatari Air Force Academy is to receive the first of the 24 aircraft in 2014 and training is to begin the following year.

"With the Qatar Emirati air force, Pilatus has added yet another new customer to the fold and we are delighted to welcome them to the growing ranks of world class air forces operating our platforms," the company said. "We are also honored by the trust placed in us to support the QEAF in their ambitious venture through this contract award.

"We look forward to successfully developing this partnership and we will deliver and support the best basic and advanced training aircraft in the world -- the Pilatus PC-21."

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