Airbus Defence and Space presented an update of its C295 Armed Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (Armed ISR) that has been developed to provide persistent close air support (CAS) at SOFINS 2021 (Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar). The company announced on 20 June that the C295 Armed ISR, as the version is named, conducted its maiden flight equipped with eight laser-guided missiles and two laser-guided bombs dummies, located on four underwing hardpoints. These initial trials were designed to validate the aircraft’s mechanical and aerodynamic characteristics when fitted with such a weapons load.
Equipped with the last generation FITS (Fully Integrated Tactical System), the C295 Armed ISR incorporates different weaponry options available in kits that allow the operator to select the most appropriate option for their requirements: from machine guns, 27 mm autocannon, guided and unguided rockets, laser-guided missiles to laser-guided bombs.With the quality and safety of the modification ensured by Airbus as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), the C295 Armed ISR provides persistent surveillance with a diverse set of weapons for defensive and attack capabilities.
C295 Armed ISR is able to carry out special operations missions, support ground troops, and neutralization of targets detected during surveillance and patrol missions, with the longest endurance in its class. As announced at Dubai Airshow 2017 the company signed a series of agreements with air-to-surface weapon suppliers paving the way for flight trials to qualify their products to equip the C295. These agreements include a memorandum of understanding with Roketsan of Turkey and similar arrangements have been signed with Expal, Escribano, and Equipaer of Spain, as well as Rheinmetall of Germany, and the US suppliers Nobles Worldwide and US Ordnance.
The CASA C-295 is a twin-turboprop tactical military transport aircraft manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space in Spain, and Indonesian Aerospace in Indonesia as CN-295. It is robust and reliable but also highly versatile in terms of the number of different missions it can perform. The C-295 is manufactured and assembled in the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in San Pablo Airport, located in Seville, Spain. It is a development of the Spanishâ€“Indonesian transport aircraft CASA/IPTN CN-235, but with a stretched fuselage, 50% more payload capability and new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines.