Spain orders 16 Airbus C295 maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft

Airbus Defence and Space

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has finalized a contract with Airbus for the acquisition of 16 C295 aircraft in Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) configurations.

The contract, valued at €1.695 billion, aims to modernize and enhance Spain’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities and strengthen surveillance, reconnaissance, and search & rescue units. It also encompasses training systems, including Full Flight Simulator and Mission System Simulator, along with an initial logistics support package.

“The aircraft will be fully designed and manufactured in Spain, fostering the national industrial defence footprint and sovereignty,” said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “In particular, the Maritime Patrol version is the most complex C295 mission configuration to date. A major development project that will bring together the latest technologies to provide an operational advantage to our customer.”

The C295 MPA, tasked with succeeding the P-3 Orion fleet retired in December 2022, will conduct anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Capable of carrying torpedoes and various weapon systems, it will operate collaboratively with other platforms, also serving as a flying command-and-control center for the Spanish Armed Forces.

The C295 MSA will primarily focus on maritime and overland operations. This includes anti-smuggling, anti-illegal immigration, anti-drug trafficking operations, as well as national and international search-and-rescue missions. These aircraft will replace the fleet of CN-235 VIGMA aircraft currently in operation. The C295 is an extended and improved version of the CN235, a design of the Spanish manufacturer CASA later absorbed by Airbus.

The assembly of these aircraft will take place at Airbus’ military facilities in Seville. Six of the C295 will be maritime patrol aircraft armed for anti-submarine warfare and 10 will be configured for maritime surveillance.

The synergy between the two configurations and the existing fleet of 13 Airbus C295 transport aircraft will contribute to the versatility of the Spanish Air and Space Force.

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