The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) today signed a contract with Airbus Military for the acquisition of eight C295 aircraft, five of them configured as tactical transports and three as maritime patrol aircraft (MPA). They will be delivered from next year.
As well as upgrading the tactical transport capability of the RAFO in hot and dusty conditions, the aircraft will enhance Oman´s ability to patrol its territorial waters and to conduct missions against piracy, illegal immigration and smuggling.
Oman becomes the first country of the Gulf Cooperation Council to order the C295. It is also the fourth customer to order the C295 in the MENA region and the first in the area to order the C295 for maritime patrol operations.
Two Airbus Military CN235 aircraft are already operated by the Royal Oman Police.
“We are very proud of this new contract with Oman which demonstrates the satisfaction of our customer with our aircraft,” said Domingo Ureña Raso, CEO of Airbus Military. “This order underlines our leadership in this segment with over 100 orders. It confirms the excellent performance of the C295 in desert environments where its robustness and ability to cope with extreme heat are critical.”
This new deal means that 108 C295s have now been ordered, with 85 currently in operation with 13 countries.
Last month, the Ghana Air Force has received its second and final Airbus Military C295 transport aircraft. The first C-295 was delivered in November last year as part of the Air Force’s modernisation drive. Ghana’s second C295 was seen landing in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands on April 24, and arrived in Ghana the following day. It is based in the capital Accra while the first is based in Tamale.
Ghana’s Vice President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated the new aircraft at the Accra Air Force Base on Monday, reports Ghana’s Daily Graphic. “The CASA C295 aircraft, with its famed robustness, will, therefore, come in handy to undertake tasks across a large spectrum of air operations, from the low to the high ends; that is, from combat support to humanitarian roles,” he said.
Ghana’s defence minister Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith said the aircraft had arrived at the right time to help improve Ghana’s socio-economic development and further the country’s agenda.
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