As a company that develops and manufactures aircraft from the body to systems as a whole, Airbus emphasized that it supports both systems and weapon integrations, thereby providing surveillance and reconnaissance functions. Moreover, as a company that advanced the concept of maritime operations with 'P-3' improvement business, Airbus was confident about the suggestion of the optimal solution for a middle-range and long-range patrol.
Brian Kim, Vice President of Airbus Korea Defense & Space Division, said at the press conference that Airbus would be willing to participate if given the opportunity for a competitive bid of the next MPA.
He stated, “Considering the budget and requirements of the Korean government identified by Airbus, Airbus can offer a total of 20 C295 maritime patrols to the Korean government. If the R.O.K Navy has a large number of C295 MPAs, it will be able to monitor more extensive areas across the Korean peninsula more effectively, which will allow it to respond more quickly to potential external threats.”
Also, he added, “The C295 MPA is equipped with state-of-the-art radar, sensors and mission-critical systems. Currently, Brazil, Chile, Oman, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and many other countries are using Airbus’s MPAs for the actual battles, which proves that the C295 is a proven fighter, not just a concept model. We expect significant savings for the government of the Republic of Korea on the basis of low introduction and operation costs compared to competitors of Airbus C295.”
Airbus and Korea have long-term and strategic partnerships in a variety of industries including commercial aircraft, defense, space and helicopters. Earlier, Airbus had introduced the A330 MRTT, a multi-purpose tanker to the Republic of Korea Air Force. The ROKAF is also using the CN235 tactical aircraft equipped with the turboprop-powered engine, a previous model of the C295, for transport purposes. What’s more, Airbus helicopter products are in operation in the Korean defense industry and it has developed Surion helicopter for the use in the Republic of Korea Army with Korea Aerospace Industries, LTD. (KAI).
Airbus also maintains close industrial cooperation with KAI, KAL-ASD, and many SMEs in Korea. Its business in Korea is expected to grow from $500 million in 2016 to $600 million in 2020. Airbus estimates that more than 6,000 jobs requiring highly skilled have been created through various projects in Korea.
ACROFAN explained the main features of the Korean anti-submarine operation and pointed out that bad weather is usually considered when an antisubmarine operation occurs. It asked for durability in these adverse conditions and explanations of related cases.
Fernando Ciria, Head of Marketing of ISR and Tactical Aircraft at Airbus Defence & Space, answered, “The C295 MPA is a worldwide model. The C295 MPAs are also operating around Chilean Pacific coast and Antarctica. The customers who operate the C295 MPA in that harsh environment speak for us. Customer cases demonstrate the operational competence. In addition, onboard sensors allow detection of maritime vessels and sharing of information even in bad weather.”
Also, he said, “The C295 MPA enables operations in bad situations. For reference, a recent Canadian contract would be a good example. Canada uses aircraft for search and rescue purposes, and when it is bad weather or the weather changes, it uses the aircraft for rescuing citizens. It also carries out a role of search and rescue in the mountains as well as in the sea. A total of 16 units will be deployed in northern Canada to perform search and rescue across Canada. Therefore, no matter how bad the weather conditions are, I think it will not be difficult to carry out the operations.
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