“Customers are increasingly interested in purchasing not just an aircraft, but a versatile platform that can be used for different missions,” explained Martin Espinosa, the Airbus Defence and Space engineering technical manager responsible for the C295’s aerial refuelling test campaign. “The development of the air-to-air refuelling capabilities of the C295 forms part of this strategic vision.”
The C295’s aerial refuelling capability would be a highly valuable mission-extender for customers using C295s. These customers include the armed forces of current and future C295 operators responsible for civil and military search and rescue missions.
Additionally, it could serve as a cost-effective platform to train fighter pilots in the skills needed for air-to-air refuelling. “The C295 tanker kit could facilitate training of fighter pilots for missions involving refuelling, or even for AAR services on a lease-by-the-hour basis at a fraction of the cost of heavier aircraft,” explained Luis Diaz-Miguel, the Tactical Airlifters Marketing Manager.
Captain Gabina, a Spanish Air Force pilot involved in the aerial refuelling tests, gave high marks to the C295 in its new role as tanker. ‘The degree of difficulty in flight test is always high since it involves performing manoeuvers that no one has done before. It should be noted that due to the positive behaviour of the aircraft, the operation has been good and straight forward” he said.