This was confirmed by Department of National Defense (DND) undersecretary for finance, modernization and materiel Fernando Manalo in a briefing Monday.
"Our first C-295 (the first out of the three ordered) will be arriving at Clark Field, Pampanga by March 23 or 25," he said.
Upon arrival, the aircraft will be subjected to technical inspection and flight tested by Air Force crews before being accepted for service.
The Philippine Air Force's cargo and transportation capability is expected to get a much needed boost with the arrival of the first C-295.
The March delivery date of the first C-295 is five months earlier than its scheduled August arrival, Manalo said.
With the early arrival of the first aircraft, the DND undersecretary expects two other aircraft to follow in short order.
EADS/CASA-Airbus Military won the DND's medium lift aircraft program by tendering a bid of Php5.29 billion for three aircraft last year.
This is 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-Airbus Military 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.
A Philippine Air Force C-295M tactical military transport aircraft. Three units ordered by the PAF in April 2014.