The Ministry of Defence Brunei Darussalam (MINDEF), as a representative of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U, Spain for the acquisition of C-295MW transport aircrafts on 2 December. The contract signing took place at the Officers’ Mess, Bolkiah Garrison. Signing on behalf of MINDEF was Yang Mulia Colonel (Retired) Norsuriati binti Haji Sharbini, Permanent Secretary (Policy, Finance and Administration), while representing the Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U, Spain was Mr. Jose Juan Corcia Palomo, Head of Southeast Asia, Airbus Singapore Pte Ltd.
The formal signing ceremony was witnessed by Yang Mulia Brigadier General (Retired) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Abdul Razak bin Haji Abd. Kadir, Deputy Minister of Defence. Also in attendance were Yang Mulia Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Muhammad Haszaimi bin Bol Hassan, Commander Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), Permanent Secretary (Development, Maintenance and Technology), Service Commanders, Joint Force Commander, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Directors and senior officers from Ministry of Defence Brunei Darussalam and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
The Airbus C-295 is a medium transport aircraft currently operating in 34 different countries and is intended to replace the current CN235-110M, which the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) has operated since 1997. The Aircraft will enhance RBAF’s capabilities to conduct various mission profiles, including Strategic Airlift, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, as well as Search and Rescue. The aircraft are expected to be delivered to the RBAF in two batches. The offical release did say that the aircraft will be delivered in batches, which could mean two, three or four C295MWs.
The C295 is a medium tactical transport aircraft that was designed and initially manufactured by the Spanish aerospace company CASA (now Airbus Military). Work on what would become the C-295 was started during the 1990s as a derivative of the successful CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft. The C-295MW (Military, Winglet) is an upgraded military model, equipped with wingtip devices (winglets) to improve performance in the takeoff, climb, and cruise phases of flight by increasing the lift-drag ratio. Capacity for 71 troops, 48 paratroops, 27 stretchers, five 2.24 × 2.74 m (88 × 108 inches) pallets, or three light vehicles.