First of 3 C-295s to be turned over to PAF Monday

11:00:00 PM
MANILA, -- The Philippine Air Force's first Airbus Military C-295, which arrived in the country last March 22, will be formally turned over to the PAF Monday.

This will take place after a blessing ceremony at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya said.

"The additional C-295s will enhance the overall capability of the PAF in providing airlift requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations," he added.

Lift requirements of the PAF is presently being carried about by the three Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" and three Fokker F-27 "Friendship" transport aircraft.

The PAF has an existing order for three C-295s from Airbus Military.

The contract is worth PHP5.29 billion. It was signed last year.

Training for the first batch composed of four PAF pilots and 24 maintenance crew was done in Seville, Spain and was completed last March 10.

"Succeeding training for pilots will continue this year in anticipation of the delivery of two more C-295s," Canaya stressed.

The first C-295 arrived at Clark Air Base, Pampanga in the afternoon of March 22.

Its arrival is five months earlier than the scheduled August delivery date.

Canaya said the C-295 is categorized as medium lift aircraft equivalent to the Fokker F-27 aircraft being maintained by the 220th Airlift Wing, the C-295s have rear ramp door similar to that of the C-130s for easier access and loading/unloading of passengers and cargoes.

"Thus, it can augment in the type missions performed by the C-130s for lesser payload requirements," the PAF spokesperson stressed.

He added that the C-295s can carry as much as 71 passengers, 50 paratroops, 24 stretchers with five to seven attendants or up to about 20,000 lbs of cargoes.

It is capable of short field landing and takeoff.

"The two other C-295 is expected in 2016 but earlier delivery is a possibility," Canaya said.

Canaya said the aircraft departed from Seville, Spain last March 16 where it was assembled.

It was flown into the country by civilian pilots and crew of Airbus Military.

Airbus won the Department of National Defense medium lift aircraft program by tendering a bid for PHP5.29-billion for three aircraft last year.

This is considerable lower than the PHP5.3-billion stipulated in the contract.

The Philippine Air Force C-295M tactical military transport aircraft at Clark Air Base.

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