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Ireland receives first C295 aircraft

The first of three new C295s for the Irish Air Corps (two of which are configured for the maritime patrol role) seen on the static display line at the Paris Airt Show the week prior to delivery to Ireland. (Janes/Sam Wise)

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

The first of two maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) ordered in December 2019 was flown into its future home station of Casement Aerodrome (also known as Baldonnel Aerodrome) near Dublin on 27 June, having appeared in the static display line up of the Paris Air Show 2023 the week before.

Tánaiste and Irish Minister for Defence Micheál Martin officially received the aircraft into Ireland, alongside other senior Irish defence staff and Airbus project team members. The second of the two aircraft that were ordered for EUR230 million (USD252 million) is scheduled to arrive in Ireland later in 2023.

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 Pro Line Fusion avionics.

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

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