The government will receive this month one of the three medium-lift fixed-wing aircraft it acquired from a Spanish firm.
Defense Usec. Fernando Manalo said the first C-295 plane will be delivered by Airbus Military in Clark, Pampanga by March 23 to 25.
“It will be the first delivery of the brand new aircraft. We will be there to receive the aircraft delivered from Spain,” Manalo said.
The Air Force welcomed the development, saying the aircraft would provide added capability in times of disaster.
“It will serve as additional transport support for the Armed Forces’ requirements (and complement) the three existing C-130s,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya said.
“They will be especially helpful in HADR operations,” he added, referring to the military’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
Last year, The STAR reported that Airbus Military won the bidding for the supply of three medium-lift fixed-wing aircraft worth P5 billion.
The notice of award was issued to the aircraft manufacturer in February 2014.
Airbus offered to supply three C-295 planes for P5.29 billion, lower than the approved budget of P5.3 billion.
Airbus said the C-295 is “the most capable and versatile transport and surveillance aircraft.” It can carry as much as nine tons of payload or up to 71 people at a maximum cruise speed of 480 kilometers per hour.
The acquisition is expected to boost the overall lift capability of the Air Force.
The two other C-295 planes are scheduled to arrive next year.
Other aircraft due for delivery this year include six units of close air support aircraft worth P4.97 billion, eight units of combat utility helicopters worth P4.8 billion, eight attack helicopters worth P3.44 billion, two lead-in fighter trainer jets worth P3.16 billion and two units of light-lift aircraft worth P813 million.