The Chilean Navy has taken delivery of the first Airbus Military C295 in its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) configuration. The handover took place after the aircraft was certified by INTA, the Spanish authority responsible for certification and military airworthiness.
Based on the Maritime Patrol (MPA) configuration of the aircraft, the C295 ASW is the first ASW type designed and certified in Europe, to enter service since the 1960s-vintage Breguet Atlantic. It is a modern and risk-free choice to replace the veteran and ageing P-3 Orion or Atlantic fleets. The new model is the latest variant of the successful C295 family of multirole aircraft. Launched in 1996, it has been proved in many military roles and civic missions for the benefit of society. Transport logistics, medical evacuation or surveillance are just some of the roles already deployed by this aircraft in its MPA version.
The aircraft is equipped with two underwing hard points to carry weapons or other stores and boasts a comprehensive suite of sensors including a search radar, digital avionics that are compatible with night-vision goggles (NVG), automatic identification system, acoustic system, and a magnetic anomaly detector. The data from all these sensors are processed by the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS). This Airbus Military-developed mission system presents the data in an intuitive form to the four tactical operators via on board mission consoles as well as to the pilots.
This C295 ASW is part of a three aircraft order placed by the Chilean Navy in October 2007. The first one, a C295 MPA, was delivered in December 2009. The other two are both ASW versions and the second is being delivered over the next few months.
The Chilean Army, Navy, and Air Force already operate one C295 MPA, three CN235s, and 13 C212s. To date, Airbus Military has sold 356 CN235 and C295 aircraft to 55 different operators.
The type conducted its first torpedo launch in May last year. The C295 MPA/ASW features two under-wing pylons for the installation of torpedoes and other external loads. It also incorporates a Store Management System (SMS), integrated with the Airbus Military Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS), to control the deployment of sonobuoys for submarine detection and torpedoes.
The C295 MPA has a flight endurance of over 11 hours, and it is used for a wide variety of missions: Search and Rescue (SAR), control of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), law enforcement, marine pollution detection, as well as defence missions.
Airbus Military adds the C295 platform, a multi-mission short/medium range tactical transport aircraft, offers high manoeuvrability and excellent qualities for low-altitude flying. In addition, it has been widely tested in all kinds of aerial deployments: launch of chains of SAR rafts, emergency equipment and parachutists.