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Airbus trials armed C295 gunship for persistent CAS

Airbus has flown an upgraded version of its armed C295 gunship that has been developed to provide persistent close air support (CAS).

The C295 Armed ISR has recently conducted flight trials. (Airbus)

The C295 Armed ISR has recently conducted flight trials. (Airbus)

The company announced on 20 June that the C295 Armed ISR, as the version is named, recently conducted flight trials 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.

“With the quality and safety of the modification ensured by Airbus as original equipment manufacturer, the C295 Armed ISR provides persistent surveillance with a diverse set of weapons for defensive and attack capabilities,” the company said, adding that it can carry out special operations missions, support ground troops, and neutralise targets detected during surveillance and patrol missions, and has a long endurance.

As noted by Airbus, the company signed a series of agreements with air-to-surface weapon suppliers at the Dubai Airshow 2017 to equip the C295. These agreements included 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.

“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,” Airbus said.

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