The Philippine Air Force (PAF) formally accepted its fourth Airbus C295 aircraft during a ceremony held at the Haribon Hangar of the Clark Air Base in Pampanga on Nov. 11.
The handover ceremony was presided over by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. The Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines, His Excellency Jorge Moragas, also attended the ceremony.
The aircraft was acquired from Spain’s Airbus Defense and Space as part of the Command-and-Control Fixed-Wing Turbo Prop Acquisition (C2FWTPA) Project under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. The PHP1.8-billion aircraft arrived in the Philippines in October.
The PAF already operates three C295s with the first aircraft arriving in the country in March 2015. The fourth aircraft will boost PAF’s medium tactical airlift requirement of transporting troops and equipment and support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.
Along with the usual transport missions, the new aircraft will also be utilized as a command-and-control aircraft to cater to the domestic air transport of the President and senior military officers.
The newly-acquired C295 will begin its operational mission transporting troops, equipment, and relief goods for earthquake victims in Mindanao.
During the ceremony, Lorenzana announced AFP’s future plans to acquire additional C295 aircraft to “further protect the country’s maritime domain”. This signals the intention to purchase the maritime patrol version of the aircraft, designated C-295 MPA/Persuader.