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Spain orders 16 Airbus C295 for maritime patrol and surveillance

The Spanish Ministry of Defence has recently placed an order for 16 Airbus C295 aircraft, specifically designed for Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) purposes. The total value of the contract is €1.695 billion.

This acquisition of new aircraft will significantly bolster the capabilities of both the Spanish Air and Space Force and the Spanish Navy. It will notably enhance their anti-submarine warfare capabilities, while also expanding and improving their surveillance, reconnaissance, and search & rescue operations.

“The aircraft will be fully designed and manufactured in Spain, fostering the national industrial defence footprint and sovereignty” said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “In particular, the Maritime Patrol version is the most complex C295 mission configuration to date. A major development project that will bring together the latest technologies to provide an operational advantage to our customer.”

In addition, the contract also encompasses the provision of training systems, namely the Full Flight Simulator and Mission System Simulator, as well as an initial logistics support package.

The C295 MPA will carry out the tasks previously undertaken by the retired P-3 Orion fleet, which concluded their service in 2022. It will possess the necessary capabilities to engage in anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Furthermore, it will have the capacity to accommodate various armaments, including torpedoes and other weapon systems.

The MPA configuration will boast extensive connectivity and will be capable of operating collaboratively with other platforms across different domains. This aircraft can serve as a mobile command-and-control centre, providing the Spanish Armed Forces with the flexibility to execute a wide array of missions.

As for the C295 MSA, it will serve as a natural replacement for the CN-235 VIGMA aircraft fleet, which has been in service with the Spanish Air and Space Force since 2008. Its primary focus will be on maritime and overland operations, encompassing tasks such as anti-smuggling, anti-illegal immigration, and anti-drug trafficking, as well as national and international search-and-rescue missions.

The Spanish Air and Space Force currently operates a fleet of 13 Airbus C295 aircraft in a transport configuration.

The assembly of these aircraft will take place at Airbus’ military facilities located in Seville.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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