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FARNBOROUGH: Airbus Military's anti-submarine C-295 draws interest

Although the larger A400M 'Grizzly' has grabbed most of the headlines this week, another of Airbus Military's products - the C-295 anti-submarine warfare aircraft - has also attracted significant interest during its UK show debut.

"We are receiving plenty of visits by delegations, and already have some potential customers," says Jeronimo Amador, the company's marketing director for light and medium transports.

"It's a tremendous opportunity being here as an integrated Airbus, along with the A380 and the A400M," he adds.

The aircraft on show is the first of two C-295s to have been adapted to the ASW role for the Chilean navy. The remaining example is about to leave the final assembly line at Airbus Military's San Pablo site near Seville.

Changes made from the baseline C-295 transport design include the installation of the company's fully integrated tactical system mission suite, or FITS, configured with four onboard operator stations, sonobuoy dispenser equipment and a magnetic anomaly detector boom.

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Chile's configuration also includes a FLIR Systems electro-optical/infrared camera, a datalink and a torpedo launch function.

Chile also received one C-295 maritime patrol aircraft in March, and is "starting to see the advantages of this aircraft, in terms of its availability rates and cost-effectiveness," Amador says.

Airbus Military has now received orders for more than 80 C-295s and special mission derivatives, and delivered around 60. Finland also recently contracted Lockheed Martin to adapt one of its transports for signals intelligence applications.

"It's an effective solution, and a robust aircraft," Amador says.

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