The Czech Air Force keeps its active combat fleet on 56 aircraft in 2015, the Czech Ministry of Defence acknowledged.
Spearhead of the force are 14 SAAB JAS 39C/D Gripen multi-role fighters, supported by 25 indigenous-developed Vodochody L-159 ALCAs. This brings the total fixed-wing combat aircraft fleet to 39. Closer to the ground 17 Mil Mi-24 and Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters provide a key function on the battlefield, giving the Czech a strenght of 56 aircraft.
Besides the combat aircraft the Czech Air Force in 2015 keeps 9 L-39 advanced training aircraft, 17 transport and observation aircraft (L-410, Yak-40, CL-601 Challenger, A319CJ, CASA/Airbus C295M), plus 35 unarmed transport helicopters (Mi-8, Mi-17 / Mi-171S, W-3A Sokol).
Source: Ministerstvo Obrany České Republiky (MOCR)
The Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana) received the first of three new Airbus (EADS / CASA) C295Ms on 7 August 2014. The plane was escorted by two of the FAE’s Super Tucano light attack aircraft on its way in to Eloy Alfaro de Manta Airbase.
The plances replace the Avro (Hawker Siddeley) HS748 with No. 1112 Squadron, after the HS748 has served the Latin American country for more than 40 years. With the new C295M (FAE-1030) arriving, one of the HS748s discharged of its duties shortly after the arrival ceremony.
Egypt has ordered eight more Airbus C295 transports in a deal which will take its fleet to 20 and makes it the biggest customer for the market-leading tactical airlifter.
The new batch of aircraft will be delivered to the Egyptian Air Force by Airbus Defence and Space beginning next year and will follow the 12 aircraft previously ordered, of which six are already in service. The contract also includes a service support package for spares, training, and maintenance of the fleet.
The Egyptian Air Force selected the C295 because of its proven versatility, robustness and efficiency for daily transport missions combined with the ease of maintenance and low cost of operations particularly in the “hot and high” and dusty conditions found in the region.
In Egyptian service the C295 will be used for military and humanitarian missions such as the transport of civilian and military personnel as well as support to populations in remote areas or in emergency situations.
More than 150 C295s have now been ordered by 19 countries.
UPDATE 15 July | It was the perfect storm at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford over the weekend. Not weather-wise, as the event was blessed with fine weather conditions. No, it was the turmoil around the non-debut of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, causing a storm of a criticism and ridicule. But also, in the eye of the beholder there was another storm; that of a Eurofighter Typhoon, Panavia Tornado and Hawker Hurricane forming a showpiece as only RIAT can deliver.
According to RIAT organizers, over 140.000 people visited Fairford since Friday. They did not get to see the promised 5th generation fighter aircraft during it’s European airshow debut, but that they did get to see plenty of other stuff, including the Boeing P-8, the Textron Scorpion Jet, the Airbus (CASA / EADS) C295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and the Red Arrows celebrating their 50th birthday and the F-16 Fighting Falcon celebrating it’s 40th.
In the end, the F-35 was hardly missed and RIAT – despite defence cutbacks meaning fewer aircraft on the airshow circuit – showed why it prolongs the title ‘the greatest airshow on earth’; thousands of people enjoying an airshow with an unrivaled variety of aircraft. Most exotic visitor was a Boeing KC-767 tanker aircraft from the Japanese Air Self Defence Force. There is no other airshow in Europe – or anywhere else – that draws aircraft from the other side of the planet. It has to be said: RIAT is still in a league of its own.
Airbus Military confirmed it freezes the delivery of six Airbus/EADS (CASA) C295 transport aircraft to the Egyptian Air Force. The steps by the mother company of EADS are a blow to the income of the Spanish aircraft industry, which relied heavily on the C295 order that is totally produced inside the Iberian country.
With the ongoing turmoil in the North African desert country and the Egyptian military actively involved in sometimes quite violent policing actions against civilians, political pressure on Airbus to stop production of the aircraft has been sincere.
The six aircraft are half of the projected 12 new C295 on order by the Egyptian military. The exact implications of the production stand-down are not certain. The C295 does sell, with more than 121 sold to 17 operators, but these are not skyrocketing numbers on which the Spanish part of Airbus can last long.
A small light at the end of the horizon for Spanish aircraft makers: every month the freeze of the Egyptian order will be reviewed.