In 1988, a joint Spanish-Indonesian endeavor introduced the high-winged CN-235, propeller-driven tactical transport aircraft and 273 were eventually built under the CASA/IPTN brand label. An new initiative then saw the twin-turboprop system revised into the C-295 with a lengthened fuselage (six whole frames added, three forward and three aft) which has increased internal hauling capacity by 50%. To contend with the added weight gains, new Pratt & Whitney PW127G series turboprops have been installed, the wings reinforced, and the undercarriage strengthened. Additional fuel stores have also been added to increase operational ranges. The cockpit uses four LCDs (Liquid-Crystal Displays) and supports NVG (Night Vision Gear), and HUDs (Head-Up Displays). The C-295 began development in November of 1996 and was unveiled during the Paris Air Show the following year with introduction in 2001 through the Spanish Air Force. The aircraft remains in active service with over a dozen air forces the world over. A prototype first flew on November 28th, 1997 to prove the design sound and production has been ongoing since 1997 with over 100 units delivered.
CASA has since fallen under the EADS brand label which is now, itself, under the reformed Airbus Military name. The aircraft are manufactured from the Airbus Military facility located in Spain.
The C-295 is crewed by two pilots and adds mission specialists depending on cargo haul and mission role. The internal hold has a capacity for up to 71 combat-ready troops or a 20,400lb cargo payload. Dimensions of the aircraft include a length of 80.2 feet, a wingspan of 84.7 feet, and a height of 28.2 feet. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) is listed at 51,145lbs. Power is through 2 x Pratt & Whitney PW127G turboprop engines developing 2,645 horsepower each while driving six-bladed propellers. Performance includes a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour, cruising speed of 300 miles per hour, ferry range of 3,300 miles, and service ceiling of 30,000 feet. The high-wing design approach allows for good lifting properties and stability in low-level flight. The fuselage is noticeably tubular with the flight deck mounted over the short nose providing good views out-of-the-cockpit. The tail is raised to provide clearer access to the rear cargo ramp found under the tail. The tail unit incorporates a single vertical tail fin and low-mounted horizontal planes. The undercarriage is wholly retractable with the main legs set under a bulged section of the fuselage.
Variants include the base military model as the C-295M. Locally-produced Indonesian marks are the NC-295 and CN-295. A maritime patrol variant exists as the C-295 MPA "Persuader" and features six hardpoints for the anti-submarine role. The model may be acquired by the British and is already in service with the Chilean Navy with another deal to an unnamed NATO member in the works. Another version is outfitted with Israeli AESA radar for the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C = "AWACs") role and remains in prototype form - unveiled at Royal International Air Tattoo in 2011 with its radome mounted over the aft fuselage. The C-295W sports winglets at the mainplane wingtips and uprated engine installation. This mark is still in final development.
January 2017 - Canada has committed to sixteen C-295W aircraft for its Search And Rescue (SAR) needs.
July 2019 - The initial C-295 destined for the Royal Canadian Air Force's "Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement" (FWSAR) program has completed its first-flight on July 4th, 2019 out of Seville, Spain. Sixteen airframes are covered through a contract signed by the Canadian government in 2016. The model will be used to succeed an aging fleet of de Havilland Canada CC-155 "Buffalo" and Lockheed CC-130H "Hercules" aircraft in same role.
October 2019 - Canadian C-295 tactical transports are being readied for formal delivery to the Royal Canadian Air Force service. Deliveries are expected to begin before year's end.
November 2019 - The Philippines has taken delivery of its fourth C295 tactical transport aircraft.
September 2020 - Canada has received its first C-295 (designated CC-295) equipped for the Search & Rescue (SAR) role. Arrival was reported on September 27th, 2020 at Base Comox in British Columbia. Sixteen examples will be procured for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to succeed an aging line of CC-130H Hercules and CC-115 Buffalo airframes in same role.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Special-Mission: Airborne Early Warning (AEW)
Specially-equipped platform providing over-battlefield Command and Control (C2) capability for allied aerial elements.
✓Special-Mission: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy underwater elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and weapons.
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
✓Special-Mission: Electronic Warfare (EW)
Equipped to actively deny adversaries the ElectroMagnetic (EM) spectrum and protect said spectrum for allied forces.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
80.4 ft (24.50 m)
84.7 ft (25.81 m)
28.2 ft (8.60 m)
112,766 lb (51,150 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Airbus Military C-295 production variant)
2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) PW127G turboprop engines developing 2,645 horsepower each driving six-bladed propeller units.
Maritime variant can be outfitted with various anti-ship / air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided weapons, and anti-submarine torpedoes across six external hardpoints.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 6
C-295 - Base Series Designation.
CN-295 - Alternative designation.
C-295M - Base Military Transport Model.
C-295MPA "Persuader" - Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) / Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) variant; fitted with 6 x hardpoints for the carrying of air-launched / air-dropped ordnance related to the role.
C-295 AEW&C - Proposed Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft platform.
C-295W - Uprated engines; winglets; enhanced performance overall.
NC-295 - Indonesian local-licensed production form.
CC-295 - Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) variant designation; Search & Rescue (SAR) focus; 16 examples.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
Aviation developments of similar form and function, or related to, the Airbus Military (EADS CASA) C-295...
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