The Spanish Ministry of Defence has ordered 16 Airbus C295 aircraft in Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) configuration and Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) configuration. The contract amounts to €1.695 billion.
These new aircraft will enable the Spanish Air and Space Force and the Spanish Navy to strengthen the national anti-submarine warfare capability as well as increase and enhance its surveillance, reconnaissance and search & rescue units.
“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.”
The contract also includes training systems (Full Flight Simulator and Mission System Simulator) and an initial logistics support package.
The C295 MPA will conduct the missions performed by the P-3 Orion fleet, which were retired at the end of 2022. It will be equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Likewise, it will be able to carry armaments such as torpedoes and other types of weapon systems.
The MPA configuration will be highly connected and will be able to operate in a collaborative mode with other platforms in different domains. The aircraft can become a flying command-and-control centre, providing the Spanish Armed Forces with the versatility to carry out a wide range of missions.
The C295 MSA is the natural replacement for the CN-235 VIGMA aircraft fleet, which have been in service with the Spanish Air and Space Force since 2008. It will be primarily equipped for maritime and overland operations such as anti-smuggling, anti-illegal immigration and anti-drug trafficking operations, as well as national and international search-and-rescue missions.
There will be a high degree of synergy between both configurations. The Spanish Air and Space Force also operates a fleet of 13 Airbus C295 in transport configuration.