The first of three C295 transports for the Ecuadorian Air Force was delivered June 6. (S-FLORES/Airbus Defence and Space)
SEVILLA, SPAIN — Ecuador has added three C295 transports to its fleet of Airbus Defence and Space military aircraft. The European aerospace company announced June 9 that it had already delivered the first aircraft from its factory here.
The order has been on Airbus’ books for sometime but the company has only just been cleared to reveal the deal following the handover of the first aircraft June 6.
Delivery of a second machine to the Ecuadorian Air Force is expected soon with the final aircraft following by the end of the year.
The deal includes a full service support program.
The Army and naval forces of the Latin American nation already operate two Airbus C212s and four CN235s.
News of the purchase of the C295 was announced during a briefing for reporters at the Airbus Military factory here, where the company’s line of propeller-driven military transports are assembled.
The production line at Sevilla includes the CN235, C295 and the larger A400M tactical airlifter.
Antonio Rodriguez Barberan, the head of commercial at Airbus Military Aircraft, said that aside from the Ecuador order the company had also secured orders this year for a further 17 C295s from undisclosed customers.
These included eight from North Africa, two Middle East customers and a first intelligence and surveillance variant delivery in Latin America, he said.
The executive said he expected to add to the order tally “very soon” with an announcement of a Middle East special operations customer.
Airbus is also developing a gun-ship version of the C259 for an unnamed Middle East customer.
The company already has Jordon as a customer for a gun-ship version of the smaller CN235 aircraft.
Barberan said that with half of the year gone, Airbus Military had secured 100 percent of the orders so far awarded in the medium transport and mission aircraft sector with the CN235 and C295.
The Military Aircraft arm of Airbus Defence and Space includes responsibility for propeller-driven aircraft, the A330 multirole tanker transporter and the company’s Typhoon fighter.
The executive said the company was close to filling its CN235/C295 production line for next year.
Airbus is developing a signals intelligence version of the the C295.
Peter Maute, the head of marketing at Military Aircraft , said that a new C295 with winglets and other enhanced performance features is on track for certification by October.
The enhancements offer a larger payload from hot and high airfields. Generally, range is increased by 9 percent and fuel savings could be as high as 6.5 percent on a typical mission of 5-ton payload at 1,000 nautical miles.