A nice schematic of the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II.
Only on a few occasions, one can actually celebrate a contract signing. The occasion was the signing for six Mk IIs at the recent DSA 2006. For once I was smiling.
Late last year, I was quite apprehensive that the air force would be purchasing the Korean Aerospace KT-1 instead of the Pilatus.
Apparently the air force big wigs managed to convince Mindef it was more prudent for them to expand the current Mk II fleet from the current eight to 14.
One crashed into the sea off Kuantan in 2001. Col Rod claimed it crashed as they were showing to the buffalos.
The Mk IIs will replaced the PC-7 fleet used for basic and primary flight training. Unlike the Mk IIs the PC-7 lacked ejection seats so if something mechanical develop during a flight, the pilots have no other option but to ride out all the way down unless they managed to turn it upside down. On most occasions, they were so low that most failed to recover the plane on time.
We could have gotten more aircraft if the air force had chosen the Korean entry but it would have made supporting them more difficult.
The air force, biggest drawback, is that it simply have too many different types of aircraft. Supporting them is a nightmare especially with our tight defence budget.
This time around, for once, the air force landed on the centre line,
I have say it before, we should never buy military equipment just because we are friends. A car maybe but not military equipment.
Hopefully this trend will continue for the air force which have not been so blessed previously.
Jen Nik and his crew deserved all the plaudits, I hope they will continue the good work especiallyfor the replacement of the Nuris.
And instead of buying Super Hornets, they will get to buy the Boeing AWACs.
And if they really wants to be friends with South Korean, they can always replace the Hawks with the T-50.