Ireland has ordered a pair of Airbus Defence and Space (DS) C295 transport aircraft that will be configured for maritime patrol operations.
The procurement, announced by the General Officer Commanding Irish Air Corps Brigadier Genera Rory O'Connor on 13 December, will see the country adopt the larger and more capable CN295 in place of the two CN235MP Persuader that have been flown since December 1994.
As noted by the aircraft manufacturer, the new C295s will be fitted with Airbus' Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS), an Ireland-specific mission sensor suite, and Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics.
While no details were given regarding the specific mission and unit allocation of the C295s, the current CN235MPs are used primarily for surveillance, but can also carry out transport, search-and-rescue (SAR), air ambulance, and parachute tasks. The aircraft are unarmed, and are operated by No. 1 Operations Wing, 101 Squadron based at Casement Aerodrome, near Dublin.
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