Airbus hands over first C295 to Philippine Air Force
MANILA, Philippines — The first of three Spanish Airbus C295 medium transport planes has been handed over to the Philippine Air Force.
The hand over ceremonies took place in Seville, Spain, where the final assembly line is located. The plane is now being ferried to the Philippines, a press release from Airbus dated March 18 said.
It added that the C295 “will play a key role in the modernization of the PAF’s transport fleet and will undertake a wide variety of military and humanitarian missions.”
The planes cost a total of P5.29 billion.
Air Force spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Enrico Canaya said the plane is on its way to the Philippines.
“It will still undergo an acceptance process,” he said.
The twin-turboprop aircraft is capable of carrying up to nine tons or 71 soldiers, using short unprepared airstrips.
“This is a medium-lift plane, an equivalent of Fokker. This will be used in transporting cargos, disaster response,” Canaya said.
The Philippines is one of the weakest militaries in Asia but it is now trying to modernize its armed forces amid China’s aggressive stance in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
For transport, the Air Force is currently using three C-130 cargo planes and three Fokker planes.