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DSA 2022: Airbus espouses benefits of mixed C295-A400M fleet for Malaysia

29th March 2022 - 11:20 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Will the RMAF order the C295 Persuader to meet its maritime patrol aircraft needs? (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus has used the DSA 2022 exhibition in Malaysia to promote the merits of its C295 maritime patrol aircraft.

Airbus claimed in a 28 March briefing during Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 that it is ‘well-positioned to meet Malaysia’s needs in defence and maritime security’, by offering the C295 Persuader to meet the country’s maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) requirement.

Speaking at DSA 2022, Johan Pelissier, head of Asia Pacific for Airbus Defence and Space, reminded reporters that Airbus already has supplied the A400M airlifter to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), which recently received its first upgraded version of the aircraft with new tactical capabilities such as full paratrooper deployment.

Shephard Defence Insight notes that Malaysia plans to buy two aircraft for maritime patrol missions, in line with the RMAF’s Capability Development Plan 2055.

However, little information on performance specifications and cost were listed in the original August 2020 tender, but both were titled as ‘Phase 1’, indicating that an additional follow-on buy is intended.

Indeed, four MPAs have been talked about in the past.

The total procurement cost for two aircraft is estimated to be around $200 million.

Airbus with the C295 is the only contender to have broken cover, although the following manufacturers are also believed to be interested in the Malaysian MPA tender: Leonardo (with the ATR-72), Boeing (P-8A Poseidon), Kawasaki (P-1) and PT Dirgantara Indonesia (CN-235 MPA variant).

A contract decision and award is expected in 2022-2023.

‘The C295 is a military platform that represents the best combination of value and capability. It is designed for the very demanding MPA missions,’ Pelissier insisted. ‘With [a] proven track record in similar operations, the C295 MPA offers the lowest risks, yet the best acquisition, operating and life-cycle costs in its category.’

He added: ‘With growing needs in the region, including Malaysia, for fleet modernisation and renewal of legacy assets, we believe Airbus is well placed to offer an A400M-C295 strong mixed fleet solution to support both strategic and tactical requirements.’

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