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Czech Republic receives first Airbus C295MW aircraft

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According to the Czech Ministry of Defense, on the night of May 19, 2021, the first of the two Airbus C295MW military transport aircraft ordered for the Czech Air Force (tail number "0481", serial number 172) arrived at the Prague-Kbely airfield. The aircraft, built at the Airbus Defense and Space facility in Seville, Spain, was the first to be built on board the new C295MW modification, equipped with winglets at the wing tips.

The first Airbus C295MW military transport aircraft received by the Czech Air Force (tail number "0481", serial number 172). Prague-Kbely, 19.05.2021 (c) Tomáš Zorvan / Czech Ministry of Defense

Recall that in December 2019, the Ministry of defence of the Czech Republic has signed a contract with Airbus group to supply two Czech air force military transport aircraft new modification C295МW a total value of CZK 1.94 billion, or 76 million euros (2.34 billion kronor, or about 93 million euros, including VAT) that the Czech side will be paid from 2019 to 2023. The Czech Republic became the initial customer of the C295MW modification. The delivery of the aircraft was originally planned for the end of 2020 and the first half of 2021, but the dates were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which particularly seriously affected Spain in 2020, where the C295 series aircraft are being built at the plant in Seville (former CASA plant). As a result, the head C295MW for the Czech Republic completed the first flight in Seville only on March 12, 2021 and was handed over only now.

As part of the Czech Air Force, these aircraft will replace two old Soviet Yak-40 aircraft that were decommissioned in 2020 from the 241st Transport Squadron of the 24th Transport Aviation Base (Prague-Kbely airfield).

The C295MW aircraft, in addition to winglets, also have modified Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G engines, updated avionics, navigation and communication systems, a modern flight planning system, satellite communications and a data transmission system. It is stated that the C295MW has a payload of 900-1000 kg more than the previous modification of the C295M, fuel consumption is 3-4% less, the practical ceiling is 1400 m more and has improved characteristics for flights in hot or high-altitude conditions.

Simultaneously with the contract for the purchase of two C295MW in December 2019, the Czech Ministry of Defense also signed a contract with Airbus for the repair and modernization of four available Airbus C295M military transport aircraft received by the Czech Air Force in 2010 and part of the 242nd transport Squadron of the same 24th Transport Air Base in 2019-2021. The contract value is 360.3 million kronor, or 14.1 million euros (436 million kronor, or 17.1 million euros, including VAT). According to the latest press release of the Czech Ministry of Defense, the end of 2022 is now the deadline for completing the modernization.

The first Airbus C295MW military transport aircraft received by the Czech Air Force (tail number "0481", serial number 172). Prague-Kbely, 19.05.2021 (c) Tomáš Zorvan / Czech Ministry of Defense

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