The Spanish defense ministry has taken delivery of the first PC-21 training aircraft from Swiss company Pilatus through the General Directorate of Armament and Material (DGAM).
The first trainer will immediately become part of the 792 Squadron, the basic training school in the Spanish Air Force Academy, after completing its first flight in December last year.
A total of 24 PC-21s will be delivered by Pilatus to the Spanish Air Force by June 2022. The Spanish Air Force plans to launch its first pilot training course some three months later, in September 2022.
Besides the single-engine turboprop trainers, Spain is buying simulators, computer-based training and virtual reality tools as part of the PC-21 training system.
“We are very pleased to be able to integrate such an advanced training system. Not only will the PC-21 revolutionize our pilot training and take it to a whole new level, it will also allow us to reduce the cost of our pilot training,” Brigadier General of the Air Force León-Antonio Machés commented.
The PC-21 has been selected as the basic trainer aircraft by nine air forces so far, including Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, France and Australia.
Ejército del Aire is the third European air force to opt for the PC-21. The single-engine turboprop trainer aircraft will replace the Casa C-101 jet trainers used by the Spanish Air Force since 1980.