Ireland welcomed the arrival of the first of two Airbus C295 maritime patrol aircraft at Casement Aerodrome on June 27.
Airbus Defence and Space secured the contract to provide two Maritime Patrol aircraft in December 2019, through an open tender process.
The contract for both airframes and associated training, ground equipment, and spare parts is €230 million, marking the largest equipment acquisition project undertaken for the Irish Defence Forces.
In December 2022, Ireland exercised a contract option for an additional C295W aircraft. It is a military transport variant designed for logistics support, troop transport, medical evacuation, Special Operations Forces operations, and general utility tasks. The aircraft is expected to be delivered in 2025.
Produced in Spain, the C295 is set to replace the Air Corps’ previous CASA CN235-100 maritime patrol aircraft obtained in 1994. It is primarily designed for maritime surveillance, with a focus on fisheries protection.
Additionally, it offers the Air Corps an array of capabilities, including logistics support, troop and equipment transport, medical evacuation and air ambulance services, search and rescue operations, and general utility tasks, stated the company.
The C295 has a length of 24.5m and a wingspan of 27.6m. It has a ceiling of 30,000 hours, a maximum cruise speed of 260 knots, and a payload capacity of 23,200 kg. The aircraft has a range of over 2,300 nautical miles, facilitating extended operations.
“The C295 is designed to operate in various conditions and terrains, the C295’s robust construction and versatility make it an ideal asset for a wide range of operational scenarios,” said Lieutenant General Sean Clancy.
He continued, “Whether it be maritime surveillance, support to the Defence Forces at home or overseas, or support during humanitarian crises, the C295 will enable us to fulfil our commitments effectively and with precision as the State’s primary aviation provider.”