STANS, Switzerland, July 21 (UPI) -- The first of Pilatus Aircraft's 49 PC-21s for Australia's military completed its initial production test flight out of the company's Stans, Switzerland, factory, the company announced Thursday.
The flight took place seven months after the contract signing, Pilatus said in a statement.
Under a deal signed in December 2015, Pilatus will deliver the aircraft as part of an effort to harmonize Australian flight training across the army, navy and air force.
Pilatus will also supply elements of ground-based training equipment and in-service support capability.
The first PC-21 will be handed over to the air force in June 2017.
The PC-21 order seeks to replace the aging PC-9 fleet, in service since 1988, as well as the CT-4 aircraft currently being used for basic training.