skip to main content

Spain buys more PC-21 trainer aircraft

Seen in Spanish colours but Swiss delivery markings, the first of an initial 24 PC-21s for the EdAE was delivered in September 2021. A further 16 have been ordered. (EdAE)

The Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) has ordered additional Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainer aircraft, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) announced on 10 March.

The procurement of 16 further PC-21s adds to the 24 that were acquired in early 2020, the last of which was delivered to Spain in mid-2022. Besides the aircraft, the deal includes simulators and other items.

“The contract signed with the Dirección General de Armamento y Material (DGAM) makes Spain the largest PC-21 operator in Europe,” Pilatus said.

As noted by the OEM, 14 PC-21s will be delivered to the Academia General del Aire (AGA) in San Javier in southeastern Spain. An additional two PC-21s will also be delivered to the Centro Logístico de Armamento y Experimentación (CLAEX) at Torrejón de Ardoz, near Madrid, to be used for experimental, flight-test training and research and development activities. With AGA Air Operations Group Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ildefonso Martínez-Pardo González, quoted as saying the PC-21 “far exceeds our expectations”, the EdAE will expand the scope of the aircraft's tasking to include elementary as well as basic training.

In Spanish service, the PC-21 replaced the CASA C101. Besides Spain, the PC-21 is flown by Australia, France, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates in the military pilot training role. QinetiQ also operates the type for the UK Empire Test Pilots' School. There are more than 230 PC-21s in global military service.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...