The Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia has purchased four C295W aircraft from Airbus, the company announced at the Paris Air Show.
“We are very proud that the C295W is joining the Airbus A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport and CN235 transports previously ordered by Saudi Arabia. We greatly appreciate the confidence shown in the C295W by a nation with long expertise in operating military aircraft in desert conditions”, said Antonio Rodríguez Barberán, Head of Commercial for Military Aircraft.
Saudi Arabia joins Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Oman to have ordered the C295 in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Airbus launched the winglet-equipped C295W, which offers improved performance and better fuel economy, in 2013. The two new features of the model are the winglets and improved Pratt & Whitney engines for better overall performance, especially in hot and high conditions.
Each winglet adds 30 kg to the aircraft’s weight while structural changes in the wing add another 60 kg to the aircraft.
The winglets improve cruise and fuel consumption through a reduction in drag and increase in lift – the C295W features a 200 mile range increase over the baseline model as a result of changes, or a 30-60 minute increase in endurance.
Meanwhile, updated Pratt & Whitney PW127 engines add power in climb and cruise, improving all round performance, especially in hot and high conditions. The engine changes increase payload by 1 500 kg at 25 000 feet, raise maximum operational altitude from 24 000 to 26 000 feet and increase payload by 1 ton from hot and high airfields. The uprated engine option has been certified and is available separate to the C295W.
Airbus Military and Pratt & Whitney began studying C295 improvements in 2011.
Having a multipurpose aircraft is seen as key to attracting new orders in a time of austerity, with the C295 being promoted for maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, signals intelligence, airborne early warning, general transport, medevac, humanitarian aid and other missions.