Airbus Defence and Space has handed over the first C-295 medium transport aircraft to the Philippines Air Force (PAF) at its final assembly line in Seville, Spain.
“In Philippines Air Force service the C295 will play a key role in the modernization of the force´s transport fleet and will undertake a wide variety of military and humanitarian missions,” Airbus said.
“The Airbus Military C295 is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter able to carry up to nine tonnes of payload or up to 71 personnel,” the manufacturer Airbus added.
Defense undersecretary for finance, modernization and material Fernando Manalo said the aircraft will be arriving on March 23 or 25 at the latest.
“Our first C-295 (the first out of the three ordered) will be arriving at Clark Field, Pampanga.” he added.
Upon arrival, the aircraft will be subjected to technical inspection and undergo flight tests by the Air Force before being commissioned into the service.
The delivery is five months ahead of schedule. The C295 was selected in 2014 for the DND’s medium-lift aircraft requirement for three aircraft to replace the PAF’s three Fokker F27 Friendship aircraft, which have been in service for more than 30 years.
The Philippine embassy in Madrid said in February that “progress on the two remaining airframes could see an August delivery for the next aircraft”.