|Airbus Military's C-295, which was awarded recently by DND for the PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft acquisition project.|
- C-295 Only Eligible Bid for PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft Acquisition Program (January 14, 2014)
- Tech Specs Released for PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Transport Aircraft - Is there a Sure Winner? (October 25, 2013)
- PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft Program - A Simple Analysis of the 3 Contenders (October 23, 2013)
|Poland is a user of the Airbus Military C-295.|
It is expected that the aircraft will be operated by the PAF's 220th Airlift Wing based in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu, probably with the 221st Airlift Squadron which operates the Fokker F-27 Friendship that the C-295 intends to complement and replace in the near future. It is also expected that follow-up orders will be exercised by the PAF, which may see the fleet increase from the initial 3 ordered. Per contract, the expected delivery of the 1st aircraft will be by May 2016, but this can be moved earlier depending on Airbus Military's production schedule. Based on the post bid qualification inspections, it also appears that the PAF orders will be manufactured by the CASA-Airbus Military facility in Seville, Spain rather than with PT DI's facility in Bandung, Indonesia.
|The C-295 is expected to compliment and eventually replace the Fokker F-27 Friendship with the 220th Airlift Wing of the PAF.|
It is expected that the actual contract will be signed between the AFP and Airbus Military within March, 2014.
With the C-295's win, it also solidify its chances in getting shortlisted for the PAF's Maritime Patrol Aircraft project. MaxDefense sources confirmed that the US-route that was being sought after by the PAF is not yet 100% confirmed, and the C-295 and other new models could still be chosen. To simplify training, logistics and maintenance, aircraft commonality might be considered, this recent win will push the C-295 forward in the race. Previous reports confirmed that Alenia Aermacchi is offering an ATR-42 or ATR-72 based MPA platform for the PAF, while PT DI's CN-235 platform is also being offered.
|Chile's C-295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.|
MaxDefense will provide further updates on this project as the project progresses from production to delivery.
January 23, 2015:
A heads-up information from one of our readers lead us to a photo taken by Juanfco Mayoral and posted on Jetphotos.net. Taken on October 2014 based on the information from the website, showing an Airbus Military C-295 in Philippine Air Force markings undertaking flight testing in Spain.
|The said photo of the PAF-bound C-295.|
Photo by Juanfco Mayoral c/o Jetphotos.net.
It sports the specified white over grey body paint similar to what the PAF's Fokker F-27 Friendships are currently using. Unfortunately, it appears that the PAF C-295 doesn't have the winglets on the tip of the wings that are meant to improve the performance of the aircraft, even if there are news that Airbus Military will be having such winglets on all new-build C-295s starting 2014. It is assumed based on the photo that the PAF-bound C-295 in the photo, with tail number 129, was built within 2014.
With the presence of this aircraft, it is now expected that Airbus Military will be able to deliver far earlier than what was expected from them, with this aircraft probably in PAF's hands by within the 1st half of 2015. It could also be possible that a 2nd aircraft can be delivered within the year.
April 1, 2015:
The Department of National Defense and the Philippine Air Force formally accepted the first of three brand new Airbus Military-CASA C-295M medium tactical transport aircraft in a formal ceremony last March 30, 2015 at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. It would be assigned with the 220th Airlift Wing based in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu.
|The PAF's 1st C-295M aircraft during the acceptance ceremonies.|
Photo taken from GMA News.
The aircraft, with tail number 129, was delivered several months in advance, and has already embarked on its first mission when it delivered supplies from Villamor Air Base to Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu, then to Edwin Andrews Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
It is expected that the rest of the ordered aircraft will be arriving in advance as well, probably within this year.