31.01.2020 – The Spanish Air Force, Ejército del Aire, is the third European air force to opt for the Swiss-produced PC-21, the 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 extremely professional evaluation, Pilatus beat several prestigious competitors to win the tender with the PC-21. The contract, which is worth over 200 million euros, was signed yesterday evening 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.
Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of Pilatus, is enthusiastic about this major order from Spain: “As a small Swiss aircraft manufacturer I’m delighted at our repeated success in winning through over large, international competitors. 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. Oscar J. 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!”
Photos courtesy Pilatus