SINGAPORE — Airbus Defence and Space has delivered the third and final C-295 medium transport destined for the Philippines Air Force, the company announced at the Singapore Airshow Tuesday.
The aircraft was ferried recently from the Airbus Seville, Spain, assembly line to Clark Air Base to take up airlift duties.
The Philippines joins Vietnam and Indonesia as a C-295 customer in the region.
Further orders for the aircraft from the Philippines are possible. Market analysts Forecast International say the C-295 is a leading contender alongside its Airbus stablemate, the smaller CN-235, to be acquired for maritime patrol duties monitoring Chinese activity around disputed islands in the South China Sea. Forecast International said six maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) aircraft are required with funding for the first two units already approved.
The C-295 is a multirole platform that has already secured MPA orders from Chile, Portugal and Oman. The analysts said that last year, the Philippines was also reported to be in talks with Japan over buying second-hand Lockheed Martin P-3Cs.
In another development, Airbus announced it had made its first C-295 sale of the year with a deal for one winglet-equipped transport aircraft to the Mali Air Force. The performance-improving winglets are now standard on the C-295.
Delivery to the African country is scheduled for the second half of this year, said Airbus.