Airbus is finalizing a multimillion-dollar contract with Spain to produce and deliver C295 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).
Company official Jean-Brice Dumont revealed during a recent media briefing that the aircraft would replace the country’s Lockheed Martin P-3 Orions.
The C295s will be equipped with a next-generation maritime mission suite, including radar, sensor turrets, sonobuoys, magnetic anomaly detectors, and electronic support measures.
Apart from maritime patrol, the C295 is expected to support anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and search and rescue missions.
A contract will reportedly be awarded in the first quarter of 2023.
The C295 MPA is a multi-role aircraft based on the Airbus C295 military transport.
It has robust landing gear to support takeoffs and landings under austere conditions.
The aircraft is also fitted with cockpit armor, a radar warning receiver, a missile warning system, and a laser warning receiver.
Its six underwing hardpoints for weapon systems can hold torpedoes, anti-surface missiles, and mines.
“Today’s armed forces have increasing demands for various air transport missions,” Airbus stated on its website. “And no matter what the requirements for an operation are, the C295 stands ready to conduct its mission successfully.”
In addition to the C295 MPA, Airbus could supply the Spanish Air Force with a maritime surveillance variant of the C295 aircraft to replace its CN235.
Spain currently has eight CN235 maritime surveillance aircraft used for maritime patrol and search and rescue.
The planes are equipped with the Fully Integrated Tactical System mission system and a FLIR sensor turret.