In a strategic move to bolster its maritime capabilities, Spain has placed an order for 16 Airbus C295 aircraft, marking a significant step in modernizing its fleet. Valued at €1.7 billion (approximately U.S. $1.9 billion), this procurement includes specialized maritime patrol and surveillance configurations.
Key Details of the Order:
- Maritime Patrol Variants:
- Six of the ordered C295 aircraft will be configured for maritime patrol, designed for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions.
- Equipped with advanced features, including a magnetic anomaly detector, sonobuoys for submarine detection, multimode radar for long-range target detection, and satellite communications technology.
- These aircraft will also be armed with torpedoes and function as highly connected flying command-and-control centers.
- Surveillance Configurations:
- The remaining ten C295 aircraft will be dedicated to maritime surveillance, replacing Spain’s aging CN-235 fleet operational since 1988.
- Tailored for anti-smuggling, anti-illegal migration, anti-drug trafficking operations, and search and rescue missions.
- Operational Synergy:
- The new maritime patrol and surveillance versions will work synergistically with Spain’s existing fleet of 13 C295 aircraft in a transport configuration.
- Timeline and Manufacturing:
- Assembly of these aircraft is slated to take place at the Airbus military facilities in Seville, Spain.
- The delivery schedule anticipates the first maritime patrol configuration in 2027, the surveillance configuration the following year, with the final aircraft delivered in 2031.
- Export Success and Total Orders:
- The C295 has proven to be an export success for Airbus, with a total of 283 planes ordered by the end of November.
- Spain’s order adds to the global success of the aircraft, which has already seen deliveries to various countries, including a recent order from the Indian Air Force.
- Training Systems and Support:
- The contract encompasses training systems, featuring a full flight simulator, and an initial logistics support package.
- Spain’s government approved the budget for the C295 purchase in June, with the contract finalized in September.
Spain’s acquisition of the Airbus C295 aircraft underscores its commitment to strengthening maritime defense and surveillance capabilities. The advanced features and operational versatility of these aircraft are poised to play a pivotal role in safeguarding Spain’s maritime interests and responding effectively to emerging security challenges.
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