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Spain signs for C295 MPA, MSA

An artist's impression of the C295 MPA and MSA in Spanish service. (Airbus)

Spain has signed for 16 Airbus C295 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA), the manufacturer announced on 20 December 2023.

The EUR1.695 billion (USD1.853 billion) deal came six months after Jean-Brice Dumont, head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space, announced during the Paris Air Show in June 2023 that the Spanish Ministers Council had approved the budget for the acquisition of six MPA and 10 MSA-variant C295s.

“These new aircraft will enable the Spanish Air and Space Force and the Spanish Navy to strengthen the national anti-submarine warfare capability as well as increase and enhance its surveillance, reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue (SAR) units,” Airbus said.

The C295 MPA will replace the Lockheed P-3 Orion that was retired by the Spanish Air and Space Force at the end of 2022, while the C295 MSA will replace the service's CN235 MSA platform.

As noted by Airbus, the C295 MPA is to be equipped with the latest-generation Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) maritime mission suite, bringing together input from radars, sensor turrets, sonobuoys, a magnetic anomaly detector, and electronic support measures as required for maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, SAR, and exclusive economic zone protection.

The announcement did not disclose a delivery timeline for either the MPA or the MSA variant.

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