Pilatus Aircraft Ltd has awarded Leonardo a contract to provide airborne communications systems, cockpit control panels and associated electronics for installation on-board Spanish Air Force PC-21 single-engine turboprop trainers.
The aircraft were ordered by the Spanish defense ministry through its Armament and Material Directorate (DGAM) to replace the Spanish Air Force’s Casa C-101 jet trainers, which have been in use since 1980.
Leonardo’s multiband V/UHF RT-700/A communications system is a military ETSO (European Technical Standard Order)-certified product. It provides voice and data communications in the 30-470MHz range and can transmit and receive securely when connected to an external encryption unit. Notably, the product provides ETSO-certified communications in the VHF ATC band (25/8,33kHz).
The Swiss aerospace manufacturer previously selected Leonardo avionics and lights/panels for PC-21 aircraft ordered by customers in Switzerland, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Australia. The Spanish Air Force is the third European air force to choose the PC-21 next generation trainer.
The Pilatus PC-21 is equipped with a pressurized cockpit, air conditioning, an anti-G system, and on-board oxygen generation.
It is capable of sustained low-level speeds over 320 knots, and hydraulically assisted ailerons and roll spoilers can produce fighter-like rates of roll in excess of 200 degrees per second.