Airbus flies armed C295 gunship for persistent CAS

Airbus C295 Armed ISR
Airbus Defence and Space unveils C295 Armed Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance
(Armed ISR) variant.

Airbus Defense and Space recently unveiled an upgraded variant of its C295 Armed Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (Armed ISR) aircraft, developed to provide persistent Close Air Support (CAS). According to the company, the C295 Armed ISR, as the version is named, conducted its maiden flight equipped with eight laser-guided missiles and two laser-guided bombs dummies, located on four underwing hardpoints, on June 20. These initial trials were designed to validate the aircraft’s mechanical and aerodynamic characteristics when fitted with such a weapons load.

The aircraft is equipped with the latest generation FITS (Fully Integrated Tactical System) and incorporates several weapon options available in kits that allow the operator to select the most appropriate option for both defense and attack missions: from machine guns, 27 mm autocannon, guided and unguided rockets, laser-guided missiles to laser-guided bombs.

Airbus says that the C295 Armed ISR is is capable of performing special operations, supporting ground troops and neutralizing targets detected during surveillance and patrol missions, with the longest endurance in its class. As announced at Dubai Airshow 2017 the company signed a series of agreements with air-to-surface weapon suppliers paving the way for flight trials to qualify their products to equip the C295. These agreements include a memorandum of understanding with Roketsan of Turkey and similar arrangements have been signed with Expal, Escribano, and Equipaer of Spain, as well as Rheinmetall of Germany, and the US suppliers Nobles Worldwide and US Ordnance.

Airbus C295 Armed ISR

Airbus C295 Armed ISR

Airbus C295 Armed ISR

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Airbus Defense and Space

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