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Ireland completes receipt of C295 maritime patrol aircraft

A screenshot from an Irish Air Corps video showing the second C295 maritime patrol aircraft arriving into Casement Aerodrome (also known as Baldonnel Aerodrome) near Dublin. (Irish Air Corps)

Ireland has received the second of a pair of Airbus Defence and Space (DS) C295 transport aircraft configured for maritime patrol operations.

The Irish Air Corps announced the milestone on 17 October, posting footage of the twin-turboprop arriving into its future home station of Casement Aerodrome (also known as Baldonnel Aerodrome) near Dublin.

Delivery of the second and final maritime patrol aircraft (MPA)-configured C295 came around four months after the first flew into the same location on 27 June, having appeared in the static display line up of the Paris Air Show 2023 the week before.

The Irish Air Corps is acquiring the larger and more capable C295 in place of the two CN235MP Persuaders that have been flown since December 1994. The new C295 MPAs are fitted with Airbus' Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS), an Ireland-specific mission sensor suite, and Collins Aerospace's Pro Line Fusion avionics.

As with the CN235MPs they are replacing, the C295s are used primarily for surveillance, but can also conduct transport, search-and-rescue (SAR), air ambulance, and parachute tasks. The aircraft will be operated by 1 Operations Wing, 101 Squadron.

A further C295W (winglet) to be used for troop and cargo transport, special forces, and medical evacuation work was ordered in December 2022, with delivery scheduled for 2025.

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