It is currently the market leader in the medium tactical transport category

The Spanish military transport aircraft C-295 reaches 300 orders with 41 operators

España tiene ya una larga experiencia en aviones de transporte, con modelos tan destacados como el C-212 Aviocar, el CN-235 y el -C295.

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The C-295, initially manufactured by CASA and currently by Airbus, which maintains its production in Spain, is an evolution of the CN-235. It made its first flight on November 28, 1997 and its first customer It was Spain in 1999, with an order for nine units. Its name follows CASA's custom when assigning a number to its aircraft: the C for CASA, 2 for the number of engines and 95 for the maximum payload initially planned: 9.5 tons. The first aircraft entered service in 2001. Today Airbus has announced that this model already has 300 orders, dedicating a video to this aircraft:

The C-295 has not yet managed to catch up with its "grandfather", the C-212 Aviocar, of which 483 units were sold, but it has already surpassed the successful CN- 235, of which 284 units were sold. The figure announced today by Airbus is very good news, since the C-295 is a larger aircraft than its predecessors. To give us an idea, the main competitor of the C-295, the Alenia C-27J Spartan, has sold 117 units to a total of 18 operators.

A CASA C-295M (T.21-11 / 35-49) of the 35th Wing of the Spanish Air Force (Photo: Elentir).

The 300 C-295s have been sold to 41 operators, more than double that of the Spartan. The C-295 serves in 37 countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, and of its 41 customers, 19 have repeated orders, which indicates that this aircraft has left its operators satisfied. "The C295 is the market leader in the medium tactical transport category with more than 80% of the market", highlights Airbus. Within NATO, the aircraft is used by Spain, Canada, Finland, Poland, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

Curiously, the main operator of the C-295 is not Spain, but India, with 56 units ordered, of which the first has been delivered. Of the 56 aircraft ordered, 16 are expected to be manufactured in Seville and the rest will be assembled by Tata in the Indian town of Vadodara. The Indian Air Force took delivery of its first C-295 in September 2023. The second aircraft is scheduled for May 2024 and the next 14 will be delivered at a rate of one per month until August 2025.

A C-295M of the Portuguese Air Force (Image: Força Aérea Portuguesa).

So far, the C-295 has already accumulated 610,000 flight hours with all its operators, with the Spanish Air Force being the operator that contributes the most flight hours to that total: more than 90,000. The unit with the most flight hours is in the hands of Brazil, with more than 9,000 flight hours. Currently, between 200 and 250 people participate in the manufacture of this aircraft. Since the appearance of the C-295, 700 pilots and 1,700 maintenance technicians have been trained to operate it.

The C-295 is sold in several versions. The most numerous is the transport one, the C-295M, with the capacity to transport 70 equipped soldiers or 48 paratroopers, as well as the capacity to transport cargo or vehicles. A VIP configuration is also available. The transport version can also be operated as a medical evacuation aircraft (MEDEVAC), with the capacity to transport up to 24 stretchers and 7 medical assistants.

A C295W MPA maritime patrol (Source: Airbus).

In addition, Airbus offers a maritime surveillance version, the C-295 MSA, and maritime patrol, the C-295 MPA Persuader. In June 2023, Spain announced the purchase of 6 C-295MPA and 10 C-295MSA. Airbus also offers an anti-submarine warfare version, the C-295 ASW, and an early warning version, the C-295AEW, equipped with a radar. At the moment, Saudi Arabia is the only operator of the C-295ISR intelligence and reconnaissance version. On the other hand, Airbus currently manufactures the C-295W version, with wingtip devices.


Main photo: Elentir. A CASA C-295M (T.21-11/35-49) of the 35th Wing of the Spanish Air Force flying over Vigo.

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