Published on December 20th, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer0
Irish Air Corps to Acquire Two New Maritime Patrol Aircraft
The Minister with Responsibility for Defence Mr Paul Kehoe, T.D., has awarded a contract for the provision of two new Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the Irish Air Corps. The contract was awarded to Airbus Defence and Space who will supply the C 295 aircraft. The two new aircraft will replace the two CASA 235 Maritime Patrol aircraft which have been in service since 1994.
Awarding the contract the Minister said: “this investment in new Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the Air Corps, which is underpinned by the White Paper on Defence, is an indication of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that all branches of the Defence Forces continue to retain a range of flexible conventional military capabilities in order to meet the roles assigned.”
The principal role of the CASA is maritime surveillance, particularly fishery protection. It also enables the Air Corps to provide a wide range of services including logistics support and transport of troops and equipment, medical evacuation and air ambulance, search and rescue and a general utility role. They will be configured with Airbus’s Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) mission equipment, and optimised for maritime surveillance and fisheries protection tasks. They will also feature Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics; equipment first installed on the C295 in support of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s future fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft fleet. The cost of the contract, including equipment fit-out and ancillary support, is approximately €221.6 million including VAT.
The award of the contract follows a two stage tender competition and are scheduled for delivery in 2023. The C295’s will be built in the company’s production facility in Seville, Spain. Airbus Defence and Space has to date secured orders for a total of 214 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127-engined C295s from a combined 33 nations.
Alberto Gutiérrez, Head of Military Aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “We are pleased to welcome the Irish Air Corps to our family of C295 operators, a signal of continued trust from an Air Force that already operates two Airbus CN235s.”
The White Paper on Defence has identified and prioritised the need for capital investment on a broad range of replacement defensive equipment programmes and on upgrading the Defence Forces built infrastructure. The Defence capital funding envelope of €541m over the 2018-2022 timeframe will also allow for the advancement and delivery of other major capital equipment projects in that timeframe. The project will be part funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme, co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.
|Capacity (General)||73 troops / 48 paratroops / 12 stretcher intensive care medevac / 27 stretcher medevac with 4 medical attendants||51 passengers, 35 paratroops, 18 stretchers or four HCU-6/E pallets including one on the ramp|
|Length||24.46 m (80 ft 3 in)||21.40 m (70 ft 21⁄2 in)|
|Wingspan||25.81 m (84 ft 8 in)||25.81 m (84 ft 8 in)|
|Ceiling||25,000 feet||25,000 feet|
|Max Cruise Speed||260 KTS||248 KTS|
|Max Takeoff Weight||21,000 Kg||16,100 Kg|
|Range||2,477 NM||2,350 NM|