AIRBUS C295

The newly inducted AIRBUS C295, the most robust, reliable, and highly versatile tactical transport aircraft, has joined the Indian Air Force to increase its efficiency since September 2023. The aircraft was designed and initially manufactured by the Spanish aerospace company CASA. The C295 is a new-generation tactical airlifter in the light and medium categories.

Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography

As a descendant of the popular CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft, work on what would eventually become the C-295 began in the 1990s. The prototype had its first flight on November 28, 1997, and mass manufacturing started shortly after. Two years after the Spanish Air Force placed an order for nine C-295s with a military configuration in April 1999, the type was officially declared operational within the service. The CASA C-295 was given a new name in 2000 as CASA was integrated into the pan-European aviation company EADS.

In addition to its role as a tactical transporter, the C-295 is highly versatile and capable of effectively performing a wide range of missions. These missions encompass parachute and cargo drops, electronic signals intelligence (ELINT), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), and maritime patrol.

Photo Credit: AIRBUS C295
Photo Credit: AIRBUS C295

While known for its strength and reliability, the C295 also boasts remarkable versatility in performing a wide array of missions. It operates globally in various roles and under diverse weather conditions, including challenging maritime and desert environments with extreme temperatures. The aircraft is fully certified to conduct daytime and nighttime combat operations, demonstrating its capability to excel in adverse conditions.

The introduction of winglets in the new C295W variant enhances its payload capacity for extended distances, particularly in hot and arid conditions. This modification leads to fuel savings of approximately 4% and improved safety margins, particularly in hilly terrain. The growing demand for diverse air transport missions within today’s military services is on the rise. The C295 is well-prepared to effectively execute its mission, no matter the operational requirements.

Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography / The Polish C295s were involved in an air-to-air photoshoot

The C295 is currently manufactured at an Airbus facility in Spain, a role previously held by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA), a Spanish aircraft manufacturer now under the umbrella of Airbus Defence and Space. Numerous nations, both military and civilian operators, have expressed interest in and ordered this aircraft. Notable among the countries that have acquired the C-295 are Spain, Egypt, Poland, Indonesia, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, and various others.

Indian Acquisition of C295, Tactical Transport Aircraft

In September 2021, India officially confirmed the procurement of 56 Airbus C295 aircraft, intended to replace the ageing Avro fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Additionally, plans include ordering 6 more aircraft for the Indian Coast Guard and 9 aircraft for the Indian Navy.

Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography / A truly impressive short take-off from a compact runway is distinctly evident

The foundation stone for the Final Assembly Line (FAL) of the Tata Group’s India C295 Programme in Vadodara, Gujarat, was laid by India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, on October 30, 2022. This facility is dedicated to aircraft manufacturing and assembly, with a focus on delivering mission-ready transport aircraft equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Indian Air Force welcomed its inaugural C295 aircraft in September 2023, following a two-year agreement in which New Delhi finalized a Rs 21,935-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to acquire these aircraft. As part of this arrangement, Airbus will supply the initial 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition, assembled in Seville, with delivery expected by 2025. The subsequent production of the remaining 40 C295 aircraft will occur at the Vadodara factory in India, with deliveries to the IAF slated for the period between 2026 and 2031.

The C295 MPA/ASW has just successfully launched a torpedo during a practice session
Photo Credit: Airbus / The C295 MPA/ASW has just successfully launched a torpedo during a practice session

C295 Variants: Meeting Various Mission Needs

The Airbus C295 military transport aircraft offers exceptional versatility, featuring numerous variants that can seamlessly transition between various missions thanks to its palletized modular mission systems. Originally designed by the Spanish aerospace company CASA and currently produced by Airbus Defense and Space, this aircraft has found extensive utilization within numerous air forces and military entities worldwide. The C295 is available in a range of customized variants, each meticulously designed to fulfil specific mission demands. Below, we outline some of the prevalent C295 variants and the missions they have been purposefully crafted to undertake:
We would encourage you to explore this article as well:  ARCHER-NG

C295M Tactical Transporter

With the ability to function on short or unprepared airstrips, the C295 serves as a crucial asset for the tactical transportation of troops and essential logistical provisions, including water, food, ammunition, medical supplies, and spare parts. Its role extends to facilitating the transfer of these resources from the primary operating base to forward bases and among remote locations that might not be accessible to larger aircraft. Furthermore, the C295 possesses the capability to conduct airdrops, deploying both paratroops and cargo loads using 88-inch-wide platforms and the container delivery system (CDS) A22 bundles.

Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography

The C295 is meticulously engineered to deliver exceptional low-level flight capabilities, tailored specifically for tactical missions, allowing it to operate at speeds as low as 110 knots. Additionally, the C295 enhances its versatility by offering palletized VIP-seat modules, affording a superior level of comfort even in remote areas with short or unpaved airstrips where conventional VIP aircraft may encounter landing limitations.

When configured for troop transportation, the C295 provides seating for up to 71 troops or accommodates 49 paratroopers along with a jumpmaster. In terms of cargo transport capabilities, the aircraft’s spacious 12.69-meter-long pressurized cabin remains unobstructed, capable of holding five standard 88-inch by 108-inch pallets or eight A-22 containers. In the context of medical evacuation missions, the C295 can be outfitted to accommodate 24 stretchers and seven medical attendants, with the option to configure it for intensive care operations as well.

Photo Credit: Airbus

C295 Gunship/Armed ISR

The EO/IR ( Electro-Optical/Infrared ) turret delivers high-definition TV video, infrared imaging capabilities, a long-range zoom, and a laser rangefinder. Additionally, real-time video transmission is possible to both ground troops equipped with handheld terminals and command and control centres. The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system provides terrain imaging capabilities and supports Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) functionality.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

The C295 Armed ISR aircraft functions as a prolonged surveillance platform, boasting an impressive endurance of over 11 hours in the ISR mission configuration. It is equipped with a comprehensive array of laser-guided weaponry and an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) guided autocannon, facilitating cost-effective close air support (CAS) operations.

This aircraft distinguishes itself by offering the lengthiest endurance within its category, accompanied by a spacious fuselage cross-section to ensure crew comfort and operational efficiency during extended surveillance missions. To enhance its self-protection capabilities, the C295 is furnished with cockpit armour, chaff/flare dispensers, as well as radar warning (RWR), missile warning (MAWS), and laser warning (LWS) systems.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

C295 Firefighter (Water Bomber)

The C295 aircraft boasts a versatile roll-on/roll-off system that can seamlessly transform it into an effective water bomber, purpose-built for combating forest fires by carrying up to 7,000 litres of water or retardant. This specialized system features two internal tanks, each with a substantial capacity of 3,500 litres of water. The water discharge is executed by gravity through ventral doors, recognized as the most efficient method for firefighting, offering superior coverage compared to systems reliant on pressurization. Furthermore, the aircraft incorporates a cutting-edge control system capable of precisely adjusting the flow rate in response to pilot commands and flight parameters, enhancing its firefighting capabilities.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

C295 MPA/ASW

Demonstrating its prowess through operational missions in the capacity of a Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and fulfilling Anti-Submarine Warfare/Anti-Surface Warfare (ASW/ASuW) responsibilities, the C295 stands as a contemporary, low-risk, and notably efficient alternative to ageing predecessors such as the P-3 Orion or the Bréguet Atlantic, all while maintaining substantially reduced operating and maintenance costs.

The C295 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) version is furnished with Airbus’ in-house-developed Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) and is equipped with underwing stations capable of carrying weaponry and various other payloads. In addition to deploying sonobuoys, the C295 possesses the capability to release torpedoes, anti-surface missiles, mines, and depth charges. Its consistent extended on-station presence, coupled with the sophistication of its FITS technology, positions the C295 Persuader variant as the ideal platform for conducting maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare missions.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

C295 SIGINT (signals intelligence)

The full interception of electromagnetic (ELINT) and communication (COMINT) emissions is integral to achieving a heightened level of situational awareness and gaining a significant intelligence advantage. The aircraft’s spacious cabin and minimal vibration levels establish a comfortable operational setting for the entire crew. Furthermore, its discretion during missions is bolstered by the implementation of a comprehensive self-protection suite, alongside a reduction in its infrared (IR) signature facilitated by the incorporation of an infrared suppression system for its twin turboprop engines.

We would encourage you to explore this article as well:  Unveiling the Best of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

In adherence to NATO’s Category IV standards for special operation forces, the C295 is equipped with an extensive baseline communication suite that encompasses wide-band datalink, Ku/Ka-band SATCOM, HF, V/UHF radios, and tactical data link (Link 16).

Photo Credit: Airbus / C295 SIGINT
Photo Credit: Airbus / C295 SIGINT

C295 AEW (Airborne Early Warning) Capability

The AEW (Airborne Early Warning) configuration of the C295 is furnished with a radar system positioned on a rotodome located above the fuselage. This radar system equips the aircraft with the capability to execute airborne early warning and control missions, thereby augmenting situational awareness and bolstering command and control capabilities. Housed within a six-meter (20-ft.) rotodome, this sensor enables the aircraft to deliver high-quality 360-degree surveillance, effectively creating a real-time, integrated air and maritime situational overview, alongside an electronic order of battle. The AEW situational information is seamlessly shared with friendly forces via network-centric data links.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

KC-295 Air-to-air refuelling

Equipped with a removable refuelling kit, the C295 can undergo a straightforward transformation into an air tanker capable of delivering up to 6,000 kg of fuel to both fixed-wing and rotary-wing receivers. The installation of this air-to-air refuelling kit is streamlined through loading via the C295’s rear ramp. This system furnishes the C295 with a fully electrically powered centerline hose-and-drogue system, thereby enabling refuelling operations at a significantly reduced cost compared to larger aircraft platforms. Importantly, this aerial refuelling capability can be seamlessly integrated into the C295 in-service fleet as the AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) kit operates independently of the aircraft’s core systems, necessitating only minimal modifications.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

In the realm of tactical tanking, the C295 boasts a remarkable maximum fuel offload capacity of six tonnes, coupled with an impressive fuel offload rate of up to 200 U.S. gallons per minute, carefully regulated to a maximum of 50 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG). When refuelling helicopters, the C295 effectively operates within a speed range of 105-130 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS), accommodating altitudes of up to 10,000 feet. In the context of refuelling fixed-wing aircraft, its operational envelope encompasses speeds ranging from 180-210 KIAS and altitudes extending up to 18,000 feet.

Serving as a genuine force multiplier for Combat Search and Rescue (SAR) and various other missions, the C295 Aerial Refueling (AAR) system demonstrates the capacity to deliver five tonnes of fuel offload over the course of two refuelling operations (inbound and outbound), while also accommodating four hours of standby time at a distance of 300 nautical miles from the primary operating base.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus

C295 Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC)

In its medical evacuation (Medevac) setup, the C295 can comfortably accommodate a maximum of 24 stretchers in addition to seven medical attendants, with the flexibility to configure for intensive care as needed. The C295’s remarkable versatility extends to its capability to operate effectively on short and soft airfields, including those that may have sustained damage or provide only minimal infrastructure.

Efficient and expeditious loading and unloading procedures are facilitated through the utilization of the generously proportioned rear ramp, offering unimpeded entry to the C295’s extensive 12.69-meter-long pressurized cabin. When configured for MEDEVAC operations, the cabin is adept at accommodating up to 24 stretchers alongside seven medical attendants, with the additional capability to configure for intensive care scenarios when required.

The C295’s robust design equips it for operations in the most challenging and demanding environments, as exemplified by its impressive performance during a particular mission in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai, where a C295 logged over 110 flight hours in a single month.

Photo Credit: Airbus
Photo Credit: Airbus
Military Missions and Operations of C295

A combat-proven aircraft: The C295 aircraft stands as a combat-proven platform, having demonstrated its effectiveness by successfully executing military missions across a diverse range of environments. This includes routine operations in the hot and humid jungles of Brazil and the mountainous terrain of Colombia, as well as deployments in the dusty and scorching deserts of Algeria and Jordan. Additionally, the C295 has showcased its capability to perform in the exceedingly cold winters and icy conditions of Poland and Finland.

The C295 has garnered a track record of success during extended deployments, some lasting up to two years, with aircraft flying as much as 90 hours per month in remote regions like Chad, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Within its category, the C295 has emerged as the most reliable airlifter, serving as a go-to choice for various missions. It can function both independently as a primary transport aircraft or as a versatile and efficient complement alongside heavy airlifters and transport helicopters.

We would encourage you to explore this article as well:  Let's Delve Into The Details Of The Kh-35 Kayak Missile
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography

Tactical Transport: The C295 specializes in the tactical transport of troops and essential logistical supplies, encompassing water, food, ammunition, medical provisions, and spare parts, facilitating their transfer from the primary operating base to forward bases and various remote locations. What sets the C295 apart is its adaptability to utilize short and unprepared airstrips that may pose accessibility challenges for larger and heavier aircraft

Paratroops: The C295 is capable of executing airdrops, and deploying paratroops and cargo loads by utilizing 88-inch-width platforms and the container delivery system (CDS) A22 bundles.

Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL): The C295’s impressive STOL capability, coupled with its robust landing gear, empowers it to conduct operations in the most challenging and austere environments, even under adverse conditions for take-offs and landings. As a tactical military transport aircraft, the C295 maintains a light footprint, allowing it to operate from short airstrips (no longer than 670 meters or 2,200 feet), soft terrain, and rough (CBR 2) unprepared airstrips. Additionally, the C295 is engineered to deliver exceptional low-level flight performance for tactical missions, operating at speeds as low as 110 knots.

Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography

Airbus C295 Specifications

  • Length:  80 ft 3 in (24.50 m)
  • Height:  28 ft 5 in (8.66 m)
  • Wing Span:  90 ft 6 in (27.59 m)
  • Cabin length:  41 ft 8 in (12.69 m)
  • Cabin height: 6 ft 3 in (1.90 m )
  • Cabin width: 8 ft 10 in (2.70 m)
  • Maximum Take off & Landing weight:  23,200 kg (51, 150 lb)
  • Maximum payload:  9000 kg (19, 850 lb)
  • Maximum cruise speed:  480 km/h (260 kts)
  • Operating Altitude:  7620 m (25,000 ft)
  • Ferry range:  5,750 km (3,100 nm)
  • Armament:  Six pylons are available as an option, with a capacity of 800 kg (1,764 lb) for inboard pylons, 500 kg (1,102 lb) for centre pylons, and 300 kg (661 lb) for outboard pylons
  • Power Plant:  The C295 aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G engines, each providing 2645 shaft horsepower (shp)

In addition to this article, seize the exclusive opportunity to acquire an exquisite medium-scale 1/200 scale premium resin model of the Antonov An-225 Mriya featuring the Buran Space Shuttle. These remarkable, iconic, and world’s biggest transport aircraft, widely acclaimed as the epitome of Soviet-era aircraft, are now available for purchase on AirModels with worldwide delivery. Don’t hesitate to secure these exceptional models before the limited stock runs out.

In conclusion, the Airbus C295 stands as a prime example of adaptability and versatility in the realm of military transport aircraft. Its various specialized variants are tailored to meet an array of mission needs, ranging from tactical transport and maritime patrol to intelligence gathering and electronic warfare. The C295’s ability to seamlessly transform to suit diverse operational requirements has made it a favoured choice among air forces and defence organizations worldwide. As the aircraft continues to evolve and take on new roles, it remains a testament to the ingenuity and flexibility that modern military aviation demands.

Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography
Photo Credit: Hesja Air-Art Photography

Important Announcement for Our Valued Readers!

After an article is published, it is possible that updates or changes may have occurred beyond the time of publication. Therefore, it is important to be aware that certain information in the article might be outdated. To ensure the most accurate analysis, it is highly recommended to verify the content with the latest sources available.

However, we are dedicated to delivering outstanding articles on military products and global updates. Maintaining quality and smooth operation requires resources. Your support sustains our efforts in providing insightful content. By purchasing high-quality products through our affiliated links, you help us keep our platform alive and acquire top-notch items. Your unwavering support is invaluable and inspires us to strive further.

We welcome your suggestions and requests for more information, as we value feedback from our readers. If there’s specific defence material or equipment not covered on our site, please share your request in the comments. We’ll strive to research and provide the required information. We sincerely thank you for your unwavering interest in our website, and we eagerly anticipate hearing from you! Enjoy your reading experience!

Leave a comment