Australian military services specialist Milskil is set to capitalise on an expected increase in demand to train pilots locally to fly the new JSF aircraft.
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Speaking to Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant, the firm’s chief executive John Lonergan noted that while pilots are currently trained overseas to fly the F-35 – which are now at RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle – the JSF training regime going forward remains unclear to most stakeholders within the Air Force.
"Being the only company to provide these [kind of] services for the last 13 years across all the front end capabilities, [we] would be really well positioned for JSF," Lonergan argued.
Indeed, Lonergan said Milskil had already started training the very pilots being converted on to the JSF.
"So, we're hopeful but we don't actually know yet; the big industry focus is on … the manufacturing and widgets; the tangible things," he said.
Lonergan said there had been very little focus from the government on solving capabilities and training issues, “in particular [around] opportunities for Australian companies in JSF training".
"I think part of that's because the system just doesn't recognise – and is not built around – operational training," Lonergan highlighted. "So we do find ourselves sitting in a bit of a vacuum at times, which we're hoping to educate people on.
"Right now we haven't been connected to the JSF, but that's our goal."