The Spanish Air Force, Ejército del Aire, is the third European air force to opt for the Swiss-produced PC-21, as their Next Generation Trainer. Pilatus has committed to delivering a total of 24 PC-21s to Spain. The single-engine turboprop trainer aircraft will replace the Casa C-101 jet trainers used since 1980.
The Ministry of Defence was looking for a new, highly efficient training platform to provide advanced training for Spain’s future military pilots tasked with protecting future generations. After a long and thorough evaluation, Pilatus says they beat several competitors to win the tender with the PC-21. The contract, which is worth more than 200 million euros, was signed recently with the Spanish Dirección General de Armamento y Material (DGAM). Comprising an integrated training system, the order includes simulators developed and produced by Pilatus, spare parts and logistics support in addition to the PC-21 aircraft.
“As a small Swiss aircraft manufacturer I’m delighted at our repeated success in winning through over large, international competitors,” says Oscar J. Schwenk, chairman of Pilatus. “This result is proof that, with our PC-21, we can deliver the very best training system in the world.”
Pilot Training Starts in 2021
The PC-21 will provide Spain with the most advanced training system currently on offer, and will also deliver a cost-effective, ecologically viable training platform. Experience with existing PC-21 customers has shown that the cost of training for a military pilot can be reduced by over 50 percent with the PC-21. These single-engine turboprop aircraft require much less fuel than any comparable jet trainer.
Chairman Schwenk commented further: “I’m delighted to see us win a new air force to add to our existing customer portfolio. We shall provide Ejército del Aire with the first-class customer service they are entitled to expect from Pilatus. Bienvenidos a Pilatus y muchas gracias por elegir el PC-21 – viva España!”