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Strengthening Commercial Bonds: Spain and Switzerland Deepen Trade Links with New PC-21 Procurement Deal

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

The Spanish Air Force is seeking to buy an additional 16 PC-21s in their third round of procurement from Pilatus, following previous orders in 2020 and 2022. These Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft will be delivered to different locations for the training of Spanish 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, as well as 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.

Designed and developed specifically for student pilots, the Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft provides an affordable and highly effective training solution for air forces.

The second batch of 16 PC-21 trainers from Pilatus Aircraft for the Spanish Ministry of Defence amounts to €240 million. The training of future fighter pilots commenced in the summer of 2022.

With this contract, Spain becomes the largest PC-21 operator in Europe. According to a GlobalData report, Switzerland accounts for 11.4% of Spain’s defense imports, even though its military hardware cannot be re-exported.

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

Lieutenant Colonel Ildefonso Martínez-Pardo González, AGA air operations group commander, stated, “Having been in use with the Spanish Air and Space Force for more than 18 months, the PC-21 integrated training system has surpassed our expectations. Its dependable and efficient powerplant, aerodynamics, safety systems, and avionics make the PC-21 an incredibly versatile trainer capable of handling all phases of flight training, from basic to advanced.”

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

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