Spain to procure additional Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft

Spain procure additional Pilatus PC21
Spanish Air Force PC-21 (E-27) trainer aircraft.

The Spanish Ministry of Defense announced in early December the plan to purchase a new batch of Pilatus PC-21 aircraft to replace the T-35 Pill├ín in the Spanish Air Force fleet. The T-35 is currently flown by students in Phase I of the General Air Academy's (AGA) flight training course. The new order worth €250 million will include 16 aircraft, flight simulators, training equipment and a logistics package.

The new PC-21s will join the 24 already in service at the General Air Academy at San Javier Air Force Base. Spain bought the first batch of aircraft from Pilatus in 2020 to replace the aging C-101 jet in Phase II of flight training. The new order will allow the Spanish Air Force to use the same aircraft in the elementary and basic phase of flight training, obtaining savings on maintenance and spare parts costs.

The MoD said the choice of the PC-21 for Phase I was driven by the need for a near-term replacement for the T-35 and was the only viable option. Pilatus' modern integrated training system will allow students to receive training aligned with the advanced technologies included in front-line aircraft currently in the Spanish Air Force fleet or to be acquired in the future.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Pilatus

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