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Chile accepts first C-295 for anti-submarine role

The Chilean navy has taken delivery of its first C-295 anti-submarine warfare aircraft from European manufacturer Airbus Military.

This milestone followed the company's receipt of military certification from Spain's INTA airworthiness body for the latest development in its family of CN-235/C-295 medium transport aircraft.

"The C-295 ASW is the first ASW type designed and certified in Europe to enter service since the 1960s-vintage Bréguet Atlantic," Airbus Military claims. It describes its new product as a "modern and risk-free choice" in replacing the aged ATL-1/-2, a type still flown by France, Italy and Pakistan, as well as old examples of the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion.

Delivery of the first ASW variant C-295 to the Chilean navy follows the same service's earlier receipt of a maritime patrol aircraft-configured example under a three-aircraft order signed in October 2007. Its remaining ASW platform will be delivered "over the next few months", says Airbus Military.

Key differences between Chile's maritime patrol and ASW aircraft include the latter's ability to deploy two torpedoes from under-wing hard points.

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Exhibited at last July's Farnborough air show in the UK, the anti-submarine model (above) also has an acoustic system, tail boom-housed magnetic anomaly detector and sonobuoy dispenser equipment. Its Airbus Military-developed fully integrated tactical system mission suite will be managed by up to four on-board tactical operators.

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