Philippines expect early delivery of transport planes

6:22:00 PM
MANILA, -- With the arrival of the first Airbus Military C-295 medium transport at Clark Air Base, Pampanga Sunday, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced that it is very likely that the two remaining planes will be delivered earlier than expected.

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

The March 22 delivery of the first C-295 is five months early

It arrived in Clark Air Base at 5:31 p.m.

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 arrival of the aircraft is still on the delivery phase. The aircraft will still undergo acceptance process before it will be turned over to the PAF. For the following 3-5 days, the aircraft will be inspected and test flown in the presence of PAF trained pilots and the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee," the PAF spokesperson added.

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.

While 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 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.

Philippine Air Force new C-295 transport plane lands at Clark Air Base.

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