Airbus DS recently unveiled during Dubai Airshow 2017 (12-16 November) the new C295 Armed ISR version (Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance). A C295 was exhibited on static display flanked by a wide range of weapons which have been selected to be integrated onto this versatile platform.
The C295 is a global reference in the medium transport and ISR segment, with a total of more than 200 aircraft sold to 28 operators in 26 different countries. The last five C295 purchases were announced on the last day of Dubai Air Show, sold to United Arab Emirates.
With this new C295 version, Airbus now offers two weaponized medium aircraft: the Light Weaponized Variant and the Armed ISR.
The C295 Light Weaponized variant features a kit with two manually aimed Machine Guns with lockable firing positions that are secured to the aircraft’s existing cargo rails by metal plates. This solution can be installed in any C295 with minimum aircraft modifications, and is thus an existing kit that can be easily incorporated adding a very valuable capability. The Light Weapons kit is already in operation with an undisclosed customer, featuring two 12.7mm light machine guns which are installed in the rear paratroop doors. To provide a more multi-role solution this kit is also removable, giving the operators full versatility to install them whenever needed, taking only around 30 minutes to perform the full mounting.
On the other hand, the C295 Armed ISR is a persistent ISR aircraft with precision laser-guided munitions that is fully equipped and prepared to respond in the most difficult scenarios. This variant combines a comprehensive set of surveillance sensors and Airbus’s latest iteration of its FITS mission system with a full set of weapons, giving the operators the capability to perform long endurance ISR missions and to provide Close Air Support when needed.
The weaponry that the C295 can incorporate with its efficient under-wing carriage includes Roketsan’s L-UMTAS anti-tank missile, Cirit laser-guided rockets, the Teber-82 laser bomb-guidance kit and Mk 82 warhead and Expal’s CAT-70 un-guided rockets with its multiple rocket launcher. Finally this variant also features Rheinmetall’s BK 27 autocannon and Escribano’s Door Gun System, having all the weaponry integrated with the FITS system so that the operators can accurately perform the targetting.
With these armed variants Airbus further expands the capabilities of the extremely successful C295, giving operators a flexible choice in terms of sensors and weaponry to cover any ISR and Close Air Support mission with the safety guarantee of Airbus being the weapon integrator, the mission system and aircraft manufacturer as well as being responsible for the certification of the whole platform.