The Spanish Ministry of Defense has greenlit the acquisition of 16 Airbus C295 aircraft in both Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) configurations, a substantial contract totaling €1.695 billion ($1.8 billion).
According to Airbus’s press release, acquiring the new aircraft will significantly fortify the anti-submarine warfare capability of the Spanish Air and Space Force and the Spanish Navy. These assets will notably augment surveillance, reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue capabilities.
Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, highlighted, “The aircraft will be fully designed and manufactured in Spain, fostering the national industrial defense footprint and sovereignty. In particular, the Maritime Patrol version is the most complex C295 mission configuration to date. A major development project that will bring together the latest technologies to provide an operational advantage to our customer.”
The contract encompasses comprehensive training systems, including a Full Flight Simulator and Mission System Simulator, alongside an initial logistics support package.
The C295 MPA, set to replace the retired P-3 Orion fleet, will specialize in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and carry armaments such as torpedoes.
In addition to its versatile combat role, the MPA configuration is designed for collaborative operations across domains, functioning as a mobile command-and-control center for the Spanish Armed Forces.
The C295 MSA replaces the CN-235 VIGMA aircraft fleet, focusing on maritime and land operations like anti-smuggling, anti-illegal immigration, anti-drug trafficking, and search-and-rescue missions.
Complementing these acquisitions, the Spanish Air and Space Force currently operates 13 Airbus C295 aircraft in transport configuration, enhancing its multi-dimensional capabilities.