Jordan and Airbus Defence and Space signed an agreement on Tuesday 17 June 2014 to cooperatively work on a C-295 gunship version. A C-295 currently operated by the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) will be converted to a gunship variant by Alliant Techsystems (ATK) and join two AC-235 gunships that were delivered to Jordan by ATK earlier.
The AC-295 gunship configuration will be based on the AC-235 Light Gunship which includes integrated mission and fire control systems, electro-optical and radar sensors, Hellfire missiles, ATK’s side-mounted M230 30mm chain gun, an integrated defensive suite and 2.75 inch guided rockets.
Head of Commercial for Military Aircraft, Antonio Rodriguez Barberán said: “We greatly appreciate Jordan’s continued confidence in our aircraft and look forward to supporting the industrial partners involved in this programme which will result in a cost-effective and powerful addition to the Jordan Armed Forces.”
The Czech Republic has accepted all four ordered Airbus (EADS/CASA) C295 tactical transport aircraft.
The Airbus Military C295 is a modern and small airlifter developed from the CASA CN235, able to carry up to nine tonnes of payload or up to 71 personnel, at a maximum cruise speed of 260 kt /480 km/h. Fitted with a retractable landing gear and a pressurised cabin, it can cruise at altitudes up to 25,000 ft, while retaining relative good short take-off & landing (STOL) of no longer than 670 m (2,200 ft) from unprepared short, soft and rough airstrips, as well as low level flight characteristics.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines, it has a fairly low fuel consumption but relatively long reach. It can carry much more palletised cargo (up to five 88 inch X 108 inch standard HCU-6E pallets) with direct off-loading through its rear ramp door if it doesn’t carry passenger seating.
The Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan has confirmed an order for two additional EADS/Airbus C295 tactical transport aircraft including spares and ground equipment.
The pair is part of an initial agreement from 2012 calling for the delivery of 8 C295s. Two of those have been delivered in 2013, the recently confirmed third will follow in 2014 and number four will join the Kazakh military transport fleet in 2015. The final four have not been confirmed yet.
Meanwhile EADS/Airbus is trying to expand the portfolio of the C925 and improve its performances further. At the Spanish production plant near Madrid trails have begun with a firefighting version of the C295. Moreover, Airbus will introduce the C295W in 2014, featuring as winglets and higher engine power ratings, giving increased performance in all flight phases and lower fuel burn.
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.