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 on 01 January, 2020 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»!
About the PC-21 success model
For years, people believed that single-engine turboprops would never replace jet trainers. But with defence budgets coming under increasing pressure, air forces are looking for new ways of managing and maintaining their complex systems in mission-ready condition. Seeking to support this change, Pilatus developed performance-related services specifically tailored to the PC-21 Training System. The goal is to ensure an affordable product to match the performance criteria defined by air force customers. That is achieved by providing a highly sophisticated and integrated service package in line with current air force requirements.
Prestigious air forces around the world have chosen the cost-effective, highly efficient training platform created by Pilatus. They are the proof that the PC-21 is the training system of the future. Since 2006, with the order for Spain, Pilatus has already sold 235 PC-21s to nine air forces – including Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, France and Australia.