The Council of Ministers has authorised the modification of the spending limits to allow the Ministry of Defence to carry out the acquisition of a second batch of the integrated system of flight training for pilots, namely the purchase of more Pilatus PC-21 aircraft to replace the ENAER/CASA T-35.

As expected, the Spanish executive has also opted for the Pilatus PC-21 to be the future elementary teaching plane at the General Air Academy (AGA) at the San Javier airbase (Murcia), after the first batch of cadets took to the sky in this replacement aircraft some three month ago.

Now, both the C-101 and the T-35 of the AGA will be replaced with the PC-21. Prior to this decision, when asked about the replacement of the T-35, the basic answer was that we had to wait for the decision of the commanders and the Ministry of Defence.

As explained: “The impossibility of acquiring a substitute in such a short period of time to carry out the teaching functions of the Elementary School, leads to the conclusion that the option that is considered more favourable and viable is the acquisition of a second batch of Pilatus PC-21 (E-27)”.

In this way, 16 new aircraft will be purchased to complement the 24 already in service. In addition, two other cabin simulators for training procedures; a third flight simulator; and other complimentary and teaching modules will be acquired.

The authorisation given now, which must be endorsed a posteriori in another Council of Ministers, giving authorisation to carry out the expense (that is, formally negotiate and carry out the acquisition), supposes a budget of 250 million euro to be disbursed between 2023 and 2025 (50 million in 2023, 100 million in 2024 and another 100 million in 2025).