Monday, March 30, 2015

Philippine Air Force formally received first of three Spanish Airbus C295 Medium Transport Planes


Villamor Airbase, Pasay City- Today, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) formally received the first Airbus C295 Medium Transport Plane that the government purchased from Spain.

The newly acquired aircraft 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.

Compared to C-130, in terms of fuel, C-295 is cost effective and will not need long airstrips because of its short take-off and landing capabilities.

C-295 has modern equipment like a glass cockpit and a Digital Flight Management System and has Liquid Crystal Display or LCD.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said, it will be a big help to the capabilities of our Air force.

 “Short runway, powerful, we will have 3 and we will distribute that to our islands to avoid long journeys” He added.

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.

Transportation of the military troops, light vehicles and equipment from one island to another especially during emergency cases can be done as well by using C-295 aircraft.

The new C-295 is an addition to the three Fokker planes and three C-130 Hercules cargo planes of the Philippine Air force.

The 3 C-295 aircraft has a total amount of 5.29 billion pesos and the delivery and acceptance of the remaining 2 C-295 will take place in 2016.

The 4 Air force pilots and 24 maintenance crew who will take care and operate this newly acquired aircraft are now being trained.

One of them is Captain Geraldine Abigail Matienzo

 "I'm very happy to have this new equipment, modernization has been a long process for us and even as young pilots, we made the most of what we have" She said.

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.

The aircraft was flown into the country by civilian pilots and crew of Airbus Military. It departed from Seville, Spain last March 16 where it was assembled.

Airbus won the Department of National Defense medium lift aircraft program by tendering a bid for Php5.29-billion for three aircraft last year, lower than the Php5.3-billion stipulated in the contract.

See: DND to open bidding for 3 Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft and logistics support

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