The Spanish Ministry of Defence, through the General Directorate of Armament and Material (DGAM) will deliver to the Spanish Air Force, the Ejército del Aire, based in San Javier (Murcia), its first PC-21, and will immediately integrate the world’s most advanced training system by Pilatus to be part of the 792 Squadron, the Basic Training School in the Spanish Air Force Academy. Pilatus will deliver a total of 24 PC-21s to Spain by June 2022, raising air force pilot training to state-of-the-art level.
A highly efficient training aircraft to provide advanced training of Spain’s future military pilots to protect future generations: After a lengthy and exceptionally professional evaluation, Pilatus prevailed over all the international competition to win the contract with the PC-21 in 2020. The first PC-21 was handed over in San Javier on 14 September 2021.
Brigadier General of the Air Force León-Antonio Machés, DGAM (Ministerio de Defensa de España) Deputy Director General of Programs commented at the handover: “We are very pleased to be able to integrate such an advanced training system. Not only will the PC-21 revolutionise our pilot training and take it to a whole new level, it will also allow us to reduce the cost of our pilot training.”
André Zimmermann, VP Government Aviation at Pilatus, added: “We’re delighted that the first PC-21 in the national colours will take to the Spanish skies as of now. Spain – a renowned and highly professional air force – is already the third air force in Europe to have opted for the world’s most advanced training system and we are confident that others will follow Spain’s example.”
The air force will launch its first pilot training course in September 2022. The PC-21 will provide Spain with not only the most technically advanced training system, but a cost-effective, ecological training platform as well. Experience with existing PC-21 customers shows that the budget for training a student military pilot can be reduced by more than 50 percent with the PC-21. These single-engine turboprops require far less fuel than comparable jet trainers. Besides the actual aircraft, the PC-21 training system includes state-of-the-art simulators, computer-based training and virtual reality tools. Pilatus thus offers the most advanced, most powerful integrated training system currently available on the market.
Founded in 1939, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is the only Swiss company to develop, produce and sell aircraft to customers around the world: from the legendary PC-12, the best-selling single-engine turboprop in its class, and the PC-21, the training system of the future. The latest aircraft is the PC-24 – the world’s first ever business jet for use on short unprepared runways. Domiciled in Stans, the company is certified to ISO 14001 in recognition of its efforts for the environment. The Pilatus Group includes two independent subsidiaries in Broomfield (Colorado, USA) and Adelaide (Australia).
With over 2,000 employees at its headquarters, Pilatus is one of the largest employers in Central Switzerland. Pilatus provides training for about 130 apprentices in 13 different professions - job training for young people has always been a very high priority at Pilatus.