The Philippines Air Force (PAF) is reportedly set to take delivery of its first C-295M military transport aircraft later this month.
Airbus Military will hand over the first aircraft at Clark Air Base on Luzon Island in the Philippines, between 23 and 25 March, reported philstar.com
Philippines Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said: "It will be the first delivery of the brand new aircraft. We will be there to receive the aircraft delivered from Spain."
In February 2014, Airbus was selected to supply three C-295 planes to PAF at a cost of PHP5.29bn ($119m), lower than the approved budget of PHP5.3bn ($119.5m), to enhance the overall lift capability of the air force.
Commenting on the upcoming delivery, the PAF said that the aircraft would provide added capability during disasters.
PAF spokesman lieutenant colonel Enrico Canaya said: "It will serve as additional transport support to the armed forces’ requirements [and complement] the three existing C-130s.
"They will be especially helpful in humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations."
The remaining two other C-295 airlifters are scheduled to be delivered in 2016.
A stretched variant of the CN-235 transporter, the C-295 is a tactical military transport aircraft designed to carry out tactical airlift, search-and-rescue, and maritime patrol and environmental surveillance missions in all-weather conditions.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW127G turboprop engines, the aircraft features a high-wing, rear-loader design which enables easy loading of mission pallets, passengers, cargo, and litters for medical evacuation, communication and logistic duties or paratrooping operations.
The aircraft has also been sold to customers and operators in Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
Image: A C-295 military transport aircraft exhibited at ILA 2002 Airshow in Berlin, Germany. Photo: courtesy of Jwnabd.