Pilatus has contracted Leonardo to provide electronic components for the Ejército del Aire’s (Spanish Air Force’s) future PC-21 single-engine turboprop trainer fleet.
The contract was announced by the Italian-based company on April 9, which stated it will supply airborne communications systems, cockpit control panels and associated electronics for installation on Spain’s forthcoming PC-21 fleet.
The package includes Leonardo’s multiband V/UHF RT-700/A communications system, which is a compact, lightweight military European Technical Standard Order (ETSO)-certified platform. It provides voice and data communications in a 30-470MHz range and can transmit and receive securely, when connected to an external encryption unit. The system also provides ETSO-certified communications in the VHF ATC band (25/8.33kHz).
Spain’s defence ministry ordered the 24 aircraft in late November last year for US$225.5m (€204.75m). In air force service, the aircraft will replace the nation’s ageing fleet of CASA C-101 Aviojets in providing training to future fast-jet pilots. In selecting the PC-21, Spain became the third European operator to order the type, following France and Switzerland.
Leonardo has been selected by Pilatus before to provide these systems for its PC-21 aircraft, with the former producing avionics and lights/panels for customers in Australia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.