The Irish government has awarded a contract for the provision of two new Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the Air Corps.
The new aircraft type to be supplied is the C 295 manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space. The two new aircraft will replace the two CASA 235 Maritime Patrol aircraft which have been in service since 1994.
Awarding the contract the Minister (Paul Kehoe TD) said “this investment in new Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the Air Corps, which is underpinned by the White Paper on Defence, is an indication of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that all branches of the Defence Forces continue to retain a range of flexible conventional military capabilities in order to meet the roles assigned”.
The principal role of the CASA is maritime surveillance, particularly fishery protection. It also enables the Air Corps to provide a wide range of services including logistics support and transport of troops and equipment, medical evacuation and air ambulance, search and rescue and a general utility role.
The cost of the contract, including equipment fit-out and ancillary support, is approximately €221.6 million.
Image EADS (CASA) C-295 of the Portuguese Air Force
Bernard Moffatt, Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (22 December 2019)