Airbus Defence and Space has signed an agreement with King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) and ATK for conversion of a C295 tactical transport aircraft into a gunship version for Jordan.
Signed at the ongoing Eurosatory 2014 in Paris, the agreement will see the companies working together to develop an AC-295 gunship version for the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF).
The configuration is expected to be based on the AC-235 light gunship, which features integrated mission and fire control systems, electro-optical and radar sensors, Hellfire missiles, ATK-built side-mounted M230 30mm chain gun, an integrated defensive suite, as well as 2.75in guided rockets.
Airbus Military Aircraft commercial head Antonio Rodriguez Barberan said the agreement will result in a cost-effective and powerful addition to the Jordan Armed Forces.
Jordan Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein was quoted by DefenseNews as saying that the AC-295 gunship offers enhanced performance and endurance compared with other smaller aircraft, and also has an air-to-air refuelling capability.
"The weapons are essentially the same but the bigger fuselage gives us greater flexibility for incorporating sensors and other systems," Al Hussein said.
The new gunship will join the two AC235 gunships delivered by ATK to RJAF during the 2014 Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference (SOFEX), held in May in Amman, Jordan.
A stretched derivative of the CN-235 transporter, the C-295 is designed to perform tactical airlift, search-and-rescue (SAR), maritime patrol and environmental surveillance missions.
Capable of conducting short take-offs and landing on semi-prepared runways, the aircraft has a high-wing, rear-loader design that enables easy loading of mission pallets, passengers, cargo and litters for medical evacuation, communication and logistic duties or paratrooping operations.
The medium-sized tactical airlifter has also been sold to Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
Image: The new C-295 gunship will join the Royal Jordanian Air Force’s existing two AC235 gunships. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto/ATK.