The Spanish Air Force has ordered 16 additional PC-21 next-generation trainer aircraft from Swiss aerospace manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft.
The acquisition is on top of the 24 PC-21s the service purchased in early 2020, making Spain the largest operator of the trainer aircraft in Europe.
According to Pilatus, the Spanish Air Force decided to buy more PC-21s after its future pilots gained valuable training experience with the state-of-the-art system.
The firm also explained that negotiations for the purchase were very carefully conducted to ensure the service would select the best pilot training platform.
Apart from the aircraft, Pilatus will deliver an advanced simulator, two cockpit procedure trainers, mission planning and debriefing systems, and pilot training software.
Pilatus Aircraft’s PC-21 is a highly-efficient, intelligent platform for training future military jet pilots.
It has a cruise speed of up to 337 knots (624 kilometers/387 miles per hour) and a maximum rate of climb of 4,091 feet (1,246 meters) per minute.
Additionally, the trainer aircraft has a pressurized cockpit, air conditioning, an anti-G system, and onboard oxygen generation.
Lieutenant Colonel Ildefonso Martínez-Pardo González said that the PC-21 integrated training system far exceeds the Spanish Air Force’s expectations.
“Its reliable and efficient power plant, aerodynamics, safety systems and avionics make the PC-21 a highly versatile trainer, capable of performing any phase of flight training from the most elementary to the most advanced,” he added.