20 new C295s ordered this year


Airbus Defence and Space has announced that it has received orders for 20 C295 light transports this year, including eight from an undisclosed customer in the Maghreb and three from Ecuador.

Although the Maghreb customer has signed the contract for eight aircraft, it will only become effective once downpayment has been received, according to Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan, Vice President Commercial at Airbus Military.

Airbus Defence and Space on Friday handed over the first of three C295s to Ecuador, a new operator of the type (Ecuador operates the CN235 and C212). The remaining two C295s will be handed over later this year. “We are very proud that Ecuador, after a successful experience with our aircraft has placed this repeat order which demonstrates that the complete range of Aribus products can cover the needs of all the military arms of a country,” Barberan said.

Airbus could not disclose who the other customers for the remaining aircraft were.

Last year Airbus sold a C295 to Columbia, a CN235 to the US Coast Guard, six C295s to Egypt and two C295s to Kazakhstan. More than 140 C295s have been ordered by 19 countries.

Barberan said he was happy with the market’s behaviour following the C295 sales. He said Airbus Defence and Space’s strategy was to have multiple versions of common platforms to boost orders. The C295 is offered as a gunship, VIP transport, signals intelligence/ground surveillance platform, air-to-air tanker, oil spill dispersant, anti-submarine warfare aircraft and airborne early warning platform. The company is developing a special operations version of the C295 gunship featuring a 30 mm cannon, ground communications and ISR equipment.

The C295 is also being marketed for firefighting, with two tanks for 7 000 litres of water. Airbus sees a big market for the firefighting version as climate change will result in more fires. Many of the existing firefighting aircraft around the world are old and will need to be replaced. Airbus said it has received several signs of interest in the firefighting version from current and possibly future operators.

Airbus is improving the base aircraft, creating the C295W with winglets and enhanced engines for greater all round performance. From 2015 all production C295s will be fitted with reinforced wings that can take optional winglets.

Airbus is offering its C295 to the South African Air Force to meet its maritime surveillance requirements. It is also hoping to sell four A400Ms as a replacement for the Air Force’s ageing C-130 Hercules fleet.

Guy Martin is in Spain as a guest of Airbus Defence and Space and is attending the company’s annual Trade Media Briefing.