The Airbus C295 is a new-generation tactical airlifter in the light and medium segment.
It is robust and reliable but also highly versatile in terms of the number of different missions it can perform. The C295 conducts multi-role operations worldwide under all weather conditions. It is fully certified and routinely operates day and night in combat missions in all weather extremes, from desert to maritime environments, from extremely hot to extremely cold temperatures.
With the new C295W version equipped with winglets, the aircraft is capable of transporting more payload over larger distances in the hot and high conditions, resulting in fuel consumption savings of around 4% and increased safety margins in mountainous regions.
Today’s armed forces have increasing demands for various air transport missions. And no matter what the requirements for an operation are, the C295 stands ready to conduct its mission successfully.
Previously produced by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA, a Spanish aircraft manufacturer that is now part of Airbus Defence and Space), the C295’s production takes place at Airbus’ facility in Spain. The aircraft has received orders from military and civil operators all over the world, from Canada and Egypt to Spain and Indonesia.
Orders & deliveries
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High versatility, many variants, multiple missions, one aircraft. Most of the different variants can easily be re-configured to a transport version and back, due to the palletised modular mission systems.
An Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance version with a multi-mission radar that can also be weaponised to conduct effective close-air-support operations.
A versatile roll-on/roll-off system converts the C295 into an efficient water bomber to fight forest fires with up to 7,000 litres of water or retardant.
Its reliable long time on station in combination with its Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) make the C295 Persuader variant the perfect platform for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare missions.
Complete interception of electromagnetic (ELINT) and communication (COMINT) emissions to obtain a high level of situational awareness and to generate an intelligence advantage.
In its Airborne Early Warning version, the C295 carries a state-of-the-art AESA radar for 360-degree coverage to provide a full picture of the airspace.
With a removable refuelling kit, the C295 can be easily transformed into an air tanker that is able to provide up to 6,000 kg of fuel to fixed and rotary wing receivers.
With its palletised VIP-seat modules, the C295 brings a high level of comfort to short/unpaved airstrips in remote areas where usual VIP aircraft cannot land.
In its Medevac configuration, the C295 can fit up to 24 stretchers plus seven medical attendants, and even intensive care configurations are possible.
Missions and operations
The robustness and versatility of the C295 makes it the ideal platform for any type of military or civic operations for the benefit of society.
A combat-proven aircraft
The C295 aircraft is combat-proven and has successfully completed military missions in all types of environments. It routinely operates in the hot and humid environments of the Brazilian jungle and Colombian mountains, in the dusty and very hot deserts of Algeria and Jordan, and in the extremely cold winters and icy conditions of Poland and Finland.
The C295 has been successfully used during long deployments (up to two years, flying up to 90 hours per plane per month) in remote areas, such as Chad, Iraq and Afghanistan. The C295 has become the most trusted airlifter in its category, being used either as single transport type, or as a versatile and efficient complement to heavy airlifters and transport helicopters.
Tactical transport of troops and the required logistic supplies (water, food, ammunition, medical supplies, spare parts) from the main operating base to the forward bases and among forward locations. The C295 can use short unprepared airstrips not accessible to heavier aircraft.
Airdrop of paratroops and loads, with the use of 88in-width platforms and container delivery system (CDS) A22 bundles.
Activities related to antiterrorism, border control and homeland security, thanks to its integrated surveillance systems, including the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS).
Casualty evacuation (Casevac) and medical evacuation (Medevac) using either basic litters or mobile intensive care units (ICU) with life support equipment.
The C295’s ability to serve as an aerial tanker brings additional flexibility to this tactical transport – further increasing its already-proven versatility and opening new mission opportunities.
The first demonstration was performed in 2016, when a C295W medium transport conducted multiple contacts with a standard Spanish Air Force C295. A few months later in early 2017, the C295W successfully conducted refuelling contacts with a H225M Caracal helicopter.
In 2020, the C295 achieved its first wet contacts during an air-to-air tanker flight test campaign – utilising a 100-ft.-long deployable hose with a “basket” at the end, which enables the transfer of fuel to receiver aircraft equipped with a probe.
In addition, the C295 also offers special versions such as Gunship (close air support to ground troops, convoys, facilities, etc.) and optional self-protection equipment, which are already in service in hostile environments like Iraq and Afghanistan: cockpit armour, radar warning (RWR), missile warning (MAWS), laser warning (LWS), and chaff/flares dispensers.
The C295 is ideal for any kind of humanitarian mission for the benefit of society. Robust, solid, rugged, and with outstanding low-level flight and short take-off and landing distance from unprepared rough, soft and short airstrips, but also a flying endurance of up to eleven hours, the C295 is also fitted with Airbus Defence and Space’s unique Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) allowing any kind of surveillance and monitoring.
Activities performed by the C295’s “civilian version” include surveillance and control activities such as search and rescue, monitoring of illegal immigration, drug smuggling, piracy, illegal fishery, maritime pollution control and deterrence, wild deforestation, bringing supplies to people living in remote locations (isolated islands, deserts, etc.).
These are performed by most of the operators, such as the Portuguese Air Force to patrol Portugal’s huge Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ), including areas around Azores and Madeira islands. Chilean Navy and Brazilian Air Force also use the C295 for search and rescue (SAR) missions. The surveillance activities can be performed thanks to the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS), which can be installed in both permanent and palletised solution.
Highly versatile tactical airlifter
The longest cabin, optimised for daily missions
With cabin dimensions of 12.7 m/41 ft 8 in (in length), the C295 has the longest unobstructed cabin in its class. It can accommodate up to 71 seats, offering a much higher personnel-carrying capability than its competitors in this segment. For the same reason, it can carry much more palletised cargo (up to five 88 in by 108 in standard HCU-6E pallets) with direct off-loading through its rear ramp door.
Short take-off and landing (STOL)
The C295’s STOL capability combined with a strong landing gear enable it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landings. The C295 is a tactical military transport aircraft with a light footprint to enable operations from short (no longer than 670 m/2,200 ft), soft and rough (CBR 2) unprepared airstrips. The C295 is also designed to provide outstanding low-level flight characteristics for tactical missions, flying at speeds down to 110 knots.
A key to C295’s unique patrol and surveillance capabilities is its FITS, which integrates, controls and displays the mission sensors – enhancing mission awareness and facilitating informed decision-making.
A new standard in avionics
With the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion®, the C295 improves upon its strong tactical capabilities. This allows operators to fulfil their mission with maximum effectiveness:
- New and modern avionics: intuitive Human Machine Interface (HMI) with touchscreen controls;
- Easier operation, reduced pilot workload;
- Enhanced tactical operations, thanks to an enhanced situational awareness;
- Compliant with current and forthcoming civil and military requirements.
The C295 glass cockpit with digital avionics includes four large active matrix liquid crystal displays (6 in. x 8 in.), fully compatible with night vision goggles. The advanced integrated avionics system with multifunctional displays provides improved situational awareness and flight safety, lower pilot workload and enhanced mission effectiveness.
The system functionalities support the requirements for both civil and military tactical environments: CARP/HARP computational aids (for precision airdrops), performance management, VNAV, radio management, tactical databases, etc. The autopilot and flight director system are certified under FAR-25 requirements for ILS Cat I and Cat II approaches and GPS non-precision approaches for automatic or manual operations.