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Advanced Radar Systems: The Key to Success for Modern Combat Aircraft

Despite being produced in relatively small numbers, the Airbus Military C-295 tactical military transport is becoming increasingly popular in military circles due to its inherent versatility.

In 1988, a joint Spanish-Indonesian venture introduced the high-winged CN-235, propeller-driven tactical transport aircraft, and 273 were eventually built under the CASA/IPTN brand label. The twin-turboprop system was then revised into the C-295 with a lengthened fuselage and increased internal hauling capacity by 50%.

To contend with the added weight gains, new Pratt & Whitney PW127G series turboprops have been installed, the wings reinforced, and the undercarriage strengthened. Additional fuel stores have also been added to increase operational ranges.

The C-295 is crewed by two pilots and adds mission specialists depending on cargo haul and mission role. The internal hold has a capacity for up to 71 combat-ready troops or a 20,400lb cargo payload. The high-wing design approach allows for good lifting properties and stability in low-level flight.

Variants include the base military model as the C-295M, locally-produced Indonesian marks as the NC-295 and CN-295, and a maritime patrol variant exists as the C-295 MPA “Persuader” with six hardpoints for the anti-submarine role. Another version is outfitted with Israeli AESA radar for the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C = “AWACS”) role, which remains in prototype form. The C-295W sports winglets at the mainplane wingtips and updated engine installation, and this mark is still in final development.

The aircraft remains in active service with over a dozen air forces worldwide, and over 100 units have been delivered. CASA has since fallen under the EADS brand label, which is now itself under the reformed Airbus Military name. The aircraft is manufactured from the Airbus Military facility located in Spain, and its dimensions include a length of 80.2 feet, a wingspan of 84.7 feet, and a height of 28.2 feet. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) is listed at 51,145lbs. Performance includes a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour, cruising speed of 300 miles per hour, ferry range of 3,300 miles, and service ceiling of 30,000 feet.

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