Angolan C295 order firmed up


Angola has placed a firm order for three Airbus C295 aircraft, four years after its government first revealed plans to acquire the aircraft, which will be used for maritime patrol amongst other duties.

Airbus announced the firm order on 21 April, revealing that two of the aircraft will be specifically equipped for maritime surveillance and one for transport missions.

The aircraft configured for transport missions will be able to carry out tactical cargo and troop transport tasks, paratrooping, load dropping or humanitarian missions, the company said.

“The two C295s configured as Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) will play a key role for Search and Rescue (SAR), control of illegal fishing and borders, support in case of natural disasters and intelligence-gathering missions, among others. They will be equipped with the Airbus-developed Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) mission system as well state-of-the-art sensors,” Airbus said in a statement.

FITS includes a search radar, electro-optical sensors, magnetic anomaly detector and other avionics. Weapons can include torpedoes, missiles, mines and depth charges.

All three aircraft will be equipped with the latest version of the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics suite.

In March 2018, it emerged that Angola was acquiring the three aircraft for nearly 160 million euros, according to documents seen by the Lusa news agency. Lusa reported that Angolan President Joao Lourenco on 2 March that year authorised commodities trading company Simportex to finalise the contract for the aircraft with Airbus. The contract was to be financed by Banco Bilbao and Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) of Spain and be included in the contract of the Public Investment Programme of the Angolan government.

Airbus said that with this new order, the Força Aérea Nacional de Angola becomes the 38th C295 operator worldwide.

A growing number of countries in Africa have acquired the C295, including Egypt, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. The Nigerian Air Force has also expressed interest in the type.