Under an agreement between Airbus Defence & Space (DS) and EXPAL, the latter provides engineering support for the integration of standard weapons in the C295 aircraft, such as 70mm rockets as well as MK 80 series warheads, both compatible with precision guidance systems.
EXPAL, as a trusted partner of leading defence companies, carries out the integration of all its products in the most important current air platforms in the world. Furthermore, the company provides services in maintenance and modernisation of aeronautical systems. EXPAL has more than 50 years of experience in the aeronautical field providing weapon systems and services to over 20 Air Forces all over the world.
This comes off the back of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and Air Defence ordering five Airbus C295 medium transport aircraft. The agreement, announced at the airshow, takes the C295 orderbook past 200. This order is purely as a transport aircraft.
The aircraft will serve with the UAE Air Force replacing the existing CN235s still in operation. Deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Orders for the C295 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region now total 51. "The C295 is a tough and reliable aircraft that is thoroughly proven in the Middle East operating environment," Bernhard Brenner, Airbus DS Head of Marketing & Sales, said at the airshow. "Passing the milestone of 200 sales – now 203 following this order - is a clear demonstration of its widely recognised capabilities and excellent value. We look forward to placing many more C295s in this region and beyond."
As reported before, Airbus DS presented an armed C295 designed for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. An undisclosed number of C295 armed ISR aircraft have already been delivered to an unidentified customer, Airbus stated at the show. The aircraft delivery also includes two 12.7mm light machine guns and mounts, which were supplied by Nobles Worldwide and US Ordnance and will be mounted on the paratroop side doors, according to the company.
Airbus also showcased weapons, which have been selected for integration onto the aircraft. The company has signed agreements with air-to-surface weapon suppliers, including Roketsan (providing CIRIT laser-guided missiles and TEBER-82 laser bomb-guidance kits), EXPAL (see above), Escribano, Equipaer, Rheinmetall, Nobles Worldwide, and US Ordnance.
Rheinmetall’s BK 27 autocannon provides a heavier door-mounted option, targeted by Escribano’s Door Gun System. EXPAL is displaying its CAT-70 (2.75in) rockets and Mk 82 warhead, while Equipaer has its CAT 70 multiple rocket launcher on display.