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The multi-mission champion

The multi-mission champion

The longest-fuselage member of Airbus Defence and Space’s tactical airlifter family is versatile, robust and has the lowest cost life-cycle of any aircraft in its category. 

Since its launch in 2001, C295s have been sold to customers and operators in Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, Jordan, Poland, Portugal and Spain – performing in tactical airlift, search & rescue (SAR), and maritime patrol missions. 

As a stretched version of Airbus Defence and Space’s CN235, the C295 offers an optimised airframe for the medium-weight sector. With the largest cabin volume and floor space in its class, the C295 is the only aircraft with adequate space for a full complement of SAR gear and mission systems, plus comfortable crew rest and preparation areas. 

Its rear ramp allows for easy loading of mission pallets, passengers, cargo, and litters for medical evacuation, and is fully certified and proven in static line parachute egress and 204-kg. aerial delivery by static line. A lateral side door on the C295 also is certified and operational for para-drops, while four bubble spotter windows can be installed on the fuselage to provide optimal conditions for visual search – including full panoramic coverage beneath the aircraft. 

The C295 is a highly survivable aircraft, with global operations that include missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its agile manoeuvrability and low radar signature are enhanced by fully-integrated missile and radar warning systems, along with a countermeasures dispenser. 

Maximum payload of the C295 is 9,200 kg., and its cabin is sized to accommodate up to 71 troops. Cargo loading options include five military standard 88-in. x 108-in. 463L pallets, or up to 10 88-in. x 54-in. pallets. For aerial cargo delivery, up to 8,000 kg. can be delivered in a single pass. 

Equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines, the C295 has excellent handling qualities, and its performance characteristics enable use of short, semi-prepared runways.

The C295’s multi-role capabilities are underscored by the development of an Airborne Early Warning and Command (AEW&C) version, equipped with a large rotodome installed atop the fuselage.  This variant has been designed to provide high quality 360-degree surveillance – creating an integrated air and maritime situation picture and electronic order of battle in real time.  

As a versatile airborne platform, the C295 AEW&C will be equipped with a fourth-generation active electronically-scanned array radar from Israel Aerospace Industries/ELTA, and can be configured with a full range of sensor and control systems – including electronic countermeasures, a self-protection suite and network-centric communications. 

It responds to a growing demand for affordable, medium-sized early warning systems for such missions as air defence, homeland security, border protection, counter-terrorism and battlefield management.  Airbus Defence and Space’s objective is to open a new market by offering the C295 AEW&C as high-performance early warning platform to many more operators than the limited number of military forces that operate the much larger Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) today. 

As an additional upgrade to this aircraft, “winglets” and enhanced engines will be introduced on the C295W version. This variant incorporates uprated Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127 turboprop powerplants and wingtip devices to reduce fuel consumption, extend flight endurance and increase operating altitude.