European aerospace firm Airbus has announced that it will supply the Philippine Air Force with two additional C295M medium tactical transport aircraft beginning later this year.
The delivery is expected to boost the country’s airlifting capability and support other maritime security needs.
In an online press briefing on Monday, Airbus official Johan Pelissier said that the two aircraft are equipped with the Fully Integrated Tactical System and state-of-the-art sensor suites.
The system reportedly makes the aircraft “highly robust” and “tactically ready” for military missions at any time.
Additionally, Pelissier explained that the C295 is designed to conduct demanding maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) missions.
“With a proven track record in similar operations, the C295 MPA offers the lowest risks, yet the best acquisition, operating and life-cycle costs in its category,” he said.
The Philippines currently has a fleet of five C295 transport aircraft. The delivery is scheduled to be complete by 2023.
A400M-C295 Mixed Fleet
Apart from the C295 tactical transport aircraft, Airbus has also offered its A400M aircraft to the southeast Asian nation.
The larger transport aircraft can be used for search and rescue, medical evacuation, humanitarian aid, and strategic transportation missions.
According to the company, its A400M can carry strategic loads and deliver them to tactical locations on small, unprepared airstrips. The aircraft can also act as a frontline tanker for the air force.
“Two A400M aircraft recently transported a fleet of helicopters to the Philippine Air Force all the way from Turkey, underscoring its heavy lifting capability as a front-line airlifter,” Pelissier remarked.
He further stated that with the growing need to modernize legacy assets, the Philippines could benefit from an A400M-C295 robust mixed fleet solution to support strategic and tactical requirements.
‘A Growing Market’
Beyond the present agreement, Airbus projects the Philippines will be “a growing market” for military aircraft and systems.
Pelissier said that the company is open to exploring possible defense investment opportunities in the country.
“We are always looking forward to also developing further the support as well as our capabilities in the country if it’s answering and meeting the future requirements requested,” he stressed.