Poland has received its final two Airbus Military C295 transport aircraft after the aircraft arrived at the 8th Air Base Krakow-Balice on 2 November.
The deliveries complete an order for five C295 transport planes signed on 29 June 2012. The USD262 million contract includes a 10-year logistic support package, additional equipment, technical data, and flight simulator.
Poland was the first foreign customer for the C295 twin-turboprop tactical military transport aircraft, replacing the Antonov An-2s and An-26 in Polish service. Poland first ordered an initial eight C295s, plus four option aircraft, in 2001 as a USD212 million package. The four option aircraft were taken up when two more C295s were ordered in December 2006 for USD52.3 million (although one was subsequently lost in a January 2008 crash) and a further two ordered in October 2007 for USD56.8 million.
Poland now has 16 C295s in service, making the Polish Air Force the largest user of the aircraft worldwide. All Polish C295s are operated from the 8th Air Base Krakow-Balice.
The first three aircraft from the June 2012 order were all delivered at the end of 2012 in a new two-colour camouflage and in the PO-03 standard. The two aircraft delivered on 2 November, however, have been completed as the full production PO-04 standard, with the previous three aircraft to be upgraded to this standard in 2014, in Poland. This work includes the installation of a full defensive aid suite.
Poland is expecting to have a significantly reduced tactical transport aircraft requirement when the ISAF mission in Afghanistan concludes in 2014. Military sources have stated that the Polish military is considering converting three to six C295s to different roles. These could include: maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare for the Polish Navy, or airborne early warning or other reconnaissance missions for the Polish Air Force. However, no decision is understood to have been made in this regard.