The Spanish Air Force has received its first PC-21 advanced training system by Pilatus from the Spanish Ministry of Defence, through the General Directorate of Armament and Material (DGAM). The system will be immediately integrated to be a 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.

Pilatus won the contract with the PC-21 through an international competition in 2020. The first PC-21 was handed over in San Javier on 14 September 2021.

“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,” said Brigadier General of the Air Force León-Antonio Machés, DGAM (Ministerio de Defensa de España) Deputy Director General of Programs.

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 simulators, computer-based training and virtual reality tools.

The air force will launch its first pilot training course in September 2022.