The cargo and transportation capability of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be getting a much needed boost with the arrival of the first C-295 medium lift aircraft from Spanish manufacturer EADS/CASA-Airbus Military this March.
This was confirmed by Department of National Defense (DND) undersecretary for finance, modernization and materiel Fernando Manalo in an interview with the PNA.
“Our first C-295 will be arriving this March,” he said.
The March delivery date of the first C-295 is five months earlier than its scheduled August arrival, Manalo said.
He did not give the specific date for security reasons.
With the early arrival of the first aircraft, the DND undersecretary expects the two other aircraft to follow in short order.
EADS/CASA-Airbus Military won the DND’s medium lift aircraft program by tendering a bid for Php5.29-billion for three aircraft last year.
This is considerably lower than the Php5.3-billion stipulated in the contract.
The PAF’s medium lift capability is presently being fulfilled by its three F-27 “Friendship” aircraft.
“These aircraft will help in troop and limited equipment movement,” DND secretary Voltaire Gazmin earlier said.
The C-295 is described as “a capable and versatile transport and surveillance aircraft.”
EADS/CASA stated that the C-295 can carry up to nine tons of cargo or 71 people.
It also has a maximum cruising speed of 260 knots and operate in short and rough airfields. PNA