Ireland has taken delivery of its first C-295 transport and maritime surveillance aircraft from European aerospace giant Airbus.
A ceremony was held to mark the aircraft’s arrival, with representatives from both the Irish government and the company in attendance.
The delivery is part of a 2019 contract for the supply of two C-295s to the Irish Air Corps, which will replace the existing CASA CN235-100 maritime patrol aircraft that Dublin purchased in 1994.
Apart from maritime surveillance and troop transport, the Airbus plane will be used to support medical evacuation and search and rescue missions.
“At 230 million euros ($252 million) for both aircraft and the associated training, spare parts, and ground equipment, this is the largest equipment acquisition project undertaken for the Defence Forces,” Irish Defense Minister Micheál Martin said.
“This significant investment is an indication of the government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that our Defence Forces retain a range of flexible conventional military capabilities to fulfill their roles and duties.”
‘Maintaining a Modern, Capable Fleet’
Airbus’ C-295 is a new-generation tactical airlifter capable of carrying more payload over larger distances, resulting in fuel consumption savings.
It can operate from desert to maritime environments and from extremely hot to extremely cold temperatures.
The aircraft can travel 2,300 nautical miles at speeds of more than 260 knots (481 kilometers/299 miles per hour).
Irish Air Corps Commander Brigadier General Rory O’Connor said that the procurement is a testament to the service’s dedication to maintaining a modern and capable fleet.
“This acquisition reinforces our commitment to excellence, ensuring that our personnel have access to the most advanced tools and resources available,” he said.
“The C295 will undoubtedly elevate our operational readiness and enable us to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving security landscape.”