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Expanding Partnerships: Spain and Switzerland Extend Trade Cooperation with Third PC-21 Procurement Round

Switzerland and Spain’s export connections strengthen as the Spanish Air Force purchase familiar Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft.

The Spanish Air Force is seeking to buy an additional 16 PC-21s in its third round of procurement with Pilatus, following previous orders in 2020 and 2022. The Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft for the Spanish Air Force will be transported to various locations to train their fighter pilots.

A total of 14 PC-21s will be sent to the Academia General del Aire (AGA) in San Javier. The package also includes a PC-21 simulator, two cockpit procedure trainers, additional mission planning and debriefing systems, and pilot training software.

Two more PC-21s will be delivered to the Centro Logistico de Armamento y Experimentacion (CLAEX) for experimental, training, and R&D purposes.

Specifically designed and developed for student pilots, the Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft provides a cost-effective and highly efficient training solution for air forces.

The second set of 16 PC-21 trainers from Pilatus Aircraft for the Spanish Ministry of Defence has a price tag of €240 million euros. Fighter pilot training began in the summer of 2022.

This agreement positions Spain as the largest PC-21 operator in Europe. Despite the fact that Switzerland’s military hardware cannot be re-exported, it accounts for 11.4% of Spain’s defense imports, as per a GlobalData report.

According to GlobalData’s “Swiss Defense Market Data 2022-2027,” several nations, including France, Spain, Ireland, Thailand, Jordan, and Australia, have acquired multiple units in recent years.

Lieutenant Colonel Ildefonso Martínez-Pardo González, AGA air operations group commander, remarked, “Having been in use with the Spanish Air and Space Force for more than 18 months, the PC-21 integrated training system has far surpassed our expectations.”

“Its dependable and efficient powerplant, aerodynamics, safety systems, and avionics make the PC-21 an incredibly versatile trainer, capable of facilitating all phases of flight training, from the most basic to the most advanced.”

In 2018, the French Air Force delivered two Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft to its Cognac Chateaubernard Air Base.

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