The Minister with Responsibility for Defence Mr Paul Kehoe, T.D., 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 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 including VAT.
The award of the contract follows a two stage tender competition. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2023.
The aircraft will be built in the company’s production facility in Seville, Spain.
The White Paper on Defence has identified and prioritised the need for capital investment on a broad range of replacement defensive equipment programmes and on upgrading the Defence Forces built infrastructure. The Defence capital funding envelope of €541m over the 2018-2022 timeframe will also allow for the advancement and delivery of other major capital equipment projects in that timeframe.
The project will be part funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme, co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.