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The C-295M is a twin-turboprop transport aircraft manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space. It was previously manufactured by Construccionnes Aeronáuticas SA (CASA), a founder member of the EADS company based in Madrid.
The new C-295M is a stretched derivative of the CN-235 transporter, with a characteristic high-wing, rear-loader design. The aircraft is noted for its short take-off and landing capability on semi-prepared runways and for the large payload capacity of 9,250kg. The landing and take-off run of just 320m and 670m allow the aircraft access to runways close to operational or crisis areas or where supplies and troops are needed.
The aircraft has a flight endurance of up to 11 hours and load capacity of 71 troops, 50 paratroopers and five pallets.
The C-295 aircraft can be configured to support multiple missions including VIP Transport, medical evacuation, military operations, air-to-air refuelling as well as civic and humanitarian missions.
Airbus developed a removable air-to-air refueling (AAR) kit, which refuelled a C295 from the Spanish Air Force during flight tests. The system also underwent proximity tests with the C295 and the Spanish Air Force F-18 in January 2020.
The removable refueling system of the aircraft weighs 1,500kg. It is equipped with up to three additional fuel tanks, an operator’s console, and a hose drum unit with 100ft-long deployable hose.
Spain deployed two C295 tactical transport aircraft to deliver medical supplies to the Canary Islands to support the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in March 2020.
C-295M transport aircraft programme
CASA announced the aircraft in June 1997 at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget and the first production C-295 made its first flight in 1998. The aircraft was granted INTA certification for military operations, and DGAG and FAA (FAR part 25) certification in 1999.
In 1999, the Spanish Ministry of Defence placed a contract for nine C-295M transport aircraft. The aircraft entered service with the Spanish Air Force in November 2001 and delivery of the aircraft was completed in 2006. A further two aircraft were ordered in 2005, two in 2006 and two in 2007 to bring the fleet to 15.
International orders and deliveries
A total of 214 C-295 aircraft have been ordered by 78 countries as of April 2020. Of this total, 176 aircraft have been delivered and 174 are in operation.
The operators include Polish Air Force (17 deliveries complete), UAE Navy (five for maritime patrol), Brazilian Air Force (15 to support the SIVAM Amazon monitoring project,13 aircraft are delivered as of January 2019), Swiss Air Force (two), Royal Jordanian Air Force (two deliveries completed), Algerian Air Force (six deliveries complete) and the Finnish Air Force (three deliveries complete), Egyptian Air Force (24 deliveries complete), Ghana (three deliveries complete), Ivory Coast (one), Mali Air Force (one), Bangladesh (one delivered), Indonesia (11 deliveries complete), Philippines Air Force (four deliveries of three aircraft complete), Thailand (Two – one aircraft delivered), Vietnam (three deliveries complete), Kazakhstan Air Defence Force (eight deliveries complete), Uzbekistan (four deliveries complete), Czech Republic (four deliveries complete), Portugal (12 deliveries complete), Spain (13 deliveries complete), Oman (eight deliveries complete), Saudi Arabia (four deliveries complete), Canada (16), Chile (three deliveries complete), Colombia (six deliveries complete), Ecuador (three deliveries completed), Mexico (14 deliveries completed).
In April 2005, Venezuela ordered ten C-295 transport aircraft, but the USA denied the export licence necessary for the American content of the aircraft and the order has been revoked. Portugal ordered 12 C-295 aircraft in February 2006, seven for military transport and five for maritime surveillance. Deliveries began in November 2008 and have been completed.
Poland ordered an additional two aircraft in October 2006 (delivered in September 2007) and two in October 2007 (to be delivered in 2009) to bring its fleet to 12 aircraft. Five more aircraft, worth $262m, were ordered in July 2012. The first two were delivered in October 2012 and the third in December 2012. The remaining aircraft were delivered by 2013.
In October 2007, the Chilean Navy purchased three aircraft. The Colombian Air Force ordered four aircraft in November 2007. The first two deliveries were made in June 2008, while the third and fourth were delivered in November 2008 and April 2009 respectively. Two more aircraft were ordered, one in September 2012 and the other in January 2013. Deliveries of all six aircraft are made.
The Czech Air Force ordered four C-295 aircraft in May 2009. Deliveries began at the end of 2009 and concluded in 2010.
ADS CASA was teamed with Raytheon to offer the C-295 combined with the CN-235-300 for the US Army / Air Force joint cargo aircraft (JCA) competition. The C-27J was chosen in June 2007.
In February 2012, Indonesia placed an order for nine C-295 aircraft. The first two were delivered to the Indonesian Air Force in September 2012. As of January 2019, there are 11 C-295 aircraft operational with Indonesia.
In March 2012, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence placed an order for two aircraft. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed for six additional aircraft. Kazakhstan took delivery of the first two C295s in January 2013. All eight aircraft were delivered.
Airbus Military received an order from Oman in May 2012 for the delivery of C-295 aircraft in tactical transports (five) and maritime patrol aircraft (three) configurations. As of December 2018, all eight C-295 aircraft are in service.
Egyptian Air Force ordered six C295 transport aircraft in January 2013 and eight additional C-295 aircraft in July 2014. As of January 2019, Egypt operates a fleet of 24 C-295 aircraft.
Mexico placed an order of two C-295 aircraft for its Navy in October 2014. As of January 2019 a total of 14 C-295 aircraft are in service with the Mexican forces.
Saudi Arabia ordered four C-295W aircraft in June 2015, with all aircraft are in service as of January 2019.
The Philippines Air Force placed orders for four C-295 aircraft and received the fourth aircraft in November 2019.
Mali ordered a single unit of C-295W transport category aircraft in February 2016 and the aircraft is in service with the Mali Air Force.
The UAE made orders for C-295 medium transport aircraft in November 2017 and the deliveries will begin in 2019.
Brazil ordered an additional single unit of C-295 search and rescue (SAR) aircraft in July 2014 and the delivery was made in June 2017. In January 2018, Brazil placed orders for an additional C-295 aircraft. It took delivery of 13 of 15 aircraft as of January 2019.
Aviation financier and lessor Stellwagen placed an order for 12 C-295 medium transport aircraft in June 2017. It operates one aircraft, as of December as 2018.
C-295M features glass cockpit with four large 152mm x 203mm (6in x 8in) Thales colour liquid crystal displays compatible with Night Vision Goggles (NVG). The flight deck is fitted with dual controls for the pilot and co-pilot. The aircraft is equipped with fully digital integrated TopDeck avionics suite supplied by Thales. , are
The maritime patrol variant (MP Persuader) can be fitted with EADS CASA Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) mission system.
Aircraft for the UAE Navy are fitted with FITS, which consists of four multi-function consoles and integrates data from sensors including search radar, forward-looking infrared (FLIR), TV cameras or other sensors.
Two head-up displays can also be fitted as an option.
The communications suite includes two or three UHF/VHF radios, a single or dual HF radio and an audio control system. The C-295 is also fitted with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR), identification friend or foe (IFF) system, the flight data recorder (FDR) and an emergency locator transponder (ELT).
A dual Thales flight management system is fitted in the aircraft, which is controlled using two multifunction controller display units (MCDU), dual air data units type ADU 3000, dual attitude heading and reference systems (AHRS), two radar altimeters (radalt) and an optional Honeywell ground proximity warning system.
Other navigation equipment includes two multimode receivers (MMR), two automatic direction finders (ADF), one direction finder (DF) and two distance measuring equipment (DME) units. There are also three possible configurations for long-range and autonomous navigation, two integrated inertial navigation and global positioning systems (INS/GPS), two GPS or two GPS plus one INS/GPS.
The Honeywell RDR-I400C colour weather radar has search, beacon and vertical navigation ground mapping modes. Portuguese Air Force C-295s are fitted with Northrop Grumman AN/APN-241 colour weather radar.
The aircraft can be fitted with alternative communications and navigational systems to suit the customer country’s operational requirements. Optional equipment includes an enhanced terrain collision avoidance system (TCAS), tactical air navigation (TACAN), category II instrument landing system, a microwave landing system and satellite communications.
The aircraft features the longest unobstructed cabin with length of 12.7m, accommodating up to 71 seats. The main cabin can be fitted with two or three rows of foldable seats to accommodate 48 fully equipped paratroops or up to 75 troops. There are two paratroop doors, one on each side of the rear part of the cabin. The cabin is fully air conditioned and pressurised.
The cabin can be configured for medical evacuation missions for 27 litters (stretcher patients) and four medical staff. An alternative configuration accommodates an intensive care unit for 12 stretcher patients.
It can be fitted for mixed cargo and passenger transport, or for all cargo operations. A roller loading system is installed and a wide ventral door and cargo ramp in the upswept rear fuselage provide easy cargo access.
The cabin holds up to 57m³ of cargo and can accommodate up to three light vehicles, Land Rovers or equivalent, or five 2.24m × 2.74m (standard 88in × 108in) pallets.
C-295M can be fitted with the Indra ALR-300V2B radar warner and BAE Systems ANALE-47 chaff / flares dispenser.
The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines, each rated at 1,972kW and at 2,177kW with auto power reserve. The engines drive six-bladed composite propellers, type HS-568F-5 developed by Hamilton Sundstrand. The blades, of 3.89m diameter, have autofeathering and synchrophasing.
The aircraft carries a 7,700l fuel load, giving a maximum range of 5,630km. It can be equipped with an optional probe for probe and drogue refuelling, so the range can be extended by in-flight refuelling.
The aircraft is fitted with tricycle-type retractable landing gear designed by Messier-Dowty. The landing gear is designed to allow operation from semi-prepared runways, down to runway class CBR-2, and is equipped with levered suspension and oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers.
The main landing gear, each equipped with two wheels in tandem, is installed in fairings on the underside of the fuselage. The gear is fitted with Dunlop hydraulically operated differential disc brakes and an anti-skid system. The steerable nose wheel is fitted with twin wheels.
The tactical capabilities of the aircraft have been improved with Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion® integrated avionics system, which enables easier operation and reduced workload on pilots. It improved the avionics with intuitive Human Machine Interface (HMI) with touchscreen controls.
Its short take-off and landing capability allows operations from approximately 670 m (2,200ft) of soft and rough unprepared airstrips. It is capable of low-level flight for tactical missions, at speeds down to 110kt.
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