Bangkok, 5 July 2017 – Thailand has become the first stop on a two-week tour of Asia organised by Airbus for its advanced C295 maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA). The aircraft, which arrived at the U-Tapao Air Base on 3 July 2017, is a brand new production model recently delivered to the Brazilian Air Force.
During its tour, the C295 will demonstrate its advanced intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) capabilities, as well as the platform’s versatility and suitability for potential operators, especially in the Asian region.
The C295 offers a state-of-the-art mission system, lower operating and life-cycle costs and an earlier delivery schedule than its competitors. Its versatile cabin configuration allows easy and fast switching from one mission to another. It also features an endurance of more than 10 hours, high manoeuvrability, low-level flying capabilities, and a wide rear ramp.
For Thailand, this makes it the best option for the surveillance of maritime borders, protection of territorial waters, and search and rescue missions. It is also ideal for troop and cargo transport, medical evacuation, humanitarian, and water bombing operations in the country.
Airbus foresees a demand for 1,200 light and medium tactical aircraft over the next 20 years.
The C295 is the leader in the sector with almost 200 orders since it entered service in 2001, and a 75 percent market share in recent years. Around 150 C295s are in service with 28 military and civil operators in 25 countries, as well as another 240 CN235s – its predecessor. Together, they have clocked more than 1.5 million flight hours.
Thailand is a long-time Airbus customer, with commercial aircraft across the company’s product line in service with the country’s leading airlines. Airbus civil helicopters are highly popular as well, and military rotorcraft like the H225M, H145M and H125M are a mainstay in the Thai Defence Forces.
The Royal Thai Air Force also operates C295 and CN235 transport aircraft, potentially leading to an easy crew transition and lower operating costs in the future.
Following its visit to Thailand, the Asian tour of the C295 will see it travel to Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and South Korea. The aircraft will then fly on to Canada, the USA and Mexico where it will embark on a similar tour of North America.