Spain Issues Multiple Contracts to Upgrade Transport Fleet, Fighters
In December 2006, Spain’s Minister’s Council has authorized a number of aircraft contracts in addition to their Eurocopter-related plans, creating more maritime patrol aircraft, expanding the transport fleet slightly, modernizing its EAV-8B Harriers/Matadors, and buying engines and spares for its CH-47 heavy-lift helicopter fleet. The total value of these contracts is over EUR 130 million.
In June 2008, the Harrier modernization contract was announced by EADS. DID offers details below regarding the upgrade’s elements, scope, and final cost.
4 Harriers to Receive Upgrades
The Ministers’ Council approved the modernization of 4 EAV-8B Matador aircraft to full Harrier II Plus configuration. The contract is worth EUR 10 million (currently about $13 million), with a funding distributed over 4 years from 2006-2009. The Spanish Navy operates a total of 17 EAV-8B aircraft.
On June 11/08, EADS announced a EUR 11.5 million/ $17.8 million contract to upgrade 4 of the Navy’s AV-8B “day attack” Harriers. While many of Spain’s “Matador” aircraft are Harrier II+ standard, these aircraft are not. This upgrade will be performed by EADS in Spain, and allows the Spanish Navy to homogenize most of their fleet of Harrier aircraft to a common engine, navigation, operational software and missions planning system configuration that can conduct operations at night.
The modernization will involve new Rolls Royce Pegasus 408A engines, Night Vision Goggle (NVG)-compatible cockpit controls and displays, external NVG lighting, new computers, a wide-field-of-view Head-Up Display, the installation of a new AN/ARC-210 Havequick communications system, an Automatic Target Handoff System (ATHS) and an advanced Global Positioning System (GPS), a new MINITACAN navigation system, a Digital Video Mapping System, and upgraded armament and electronic warfare capabilities. See also Infodefensa release.
EADS Military Air Systems (now Cassidian) is also responsible for the Third Maintenance Level of the fixed-wing aircraft of the Spanish Navy, including comprehensive maintenance, overhaul and repair (MRO) activities such technical support, maintenance revision programs and structural repairs. This is being carried out within a EUR 7 million umbrella contract valid until 2009.
Boeing is also contracted to support Spain’s carrier fleet, as one of the parties to a 5-year support contract called HISS that began in June 2007.
Feb 7/11: EADS Cassidian announces that the prototype EA-8 aircraft for Spain’s Harrier Upgrade program has completed its test flight program, and is now at the Rota Naval Base facilities. Handover to the Spanish Navy will take place onve the modified aircraft is certified. The rest of the aircraft covered by this contract are at EADS’ San Pablo facilities, undergoing various stages of the modifications.
CN-235/295 Family Contracts
Spain’s Ministers’ Council has authorized a contract is authorized for the transformation of 6 C-235 transports currently serving with the Ejercito del Aire’s Ala 35 based at Madrid-Getalfe to CN-235MP maritime surveillance /SAR versions. The contract would be worth EUR 49 million (currently about $64.5 million), and will be performed by manufacturer EADS-CASA.
These CN-235MPs will replace 3 Fokker-27 Maritime aircraft currently in service.
The Ministers’ Council also authorized a EUR 21 million (currently about $27.5 million) contract to acquire one C-295M military transport. The C-295 is a stretched version of the C-235. “This aircraft has the possibility of realizing logistic, tactical transport and medical transport, and, with secondary character, operations of maritime surveillance and of support to operations of search and rescue.”
The contract will be signed with manufacturer EADS-CASA.
Chinook Helicopter Upgrades & Spares
An Agreement was adopted approving the acquisition of engines, components and accessories for Spain’s HT-17/CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The contracts will be worth EUR 53 million (currently about $70 million), the funding being distributed over 4 years from 2006-2009.
According to Scramble, Spain’s CH-47Ds are assigned to Army aviation’s BHELTRA V, flying out of Colmenar Viejo north of Madrid.
DID thanks subscriber Pedro Lucio for bringing these items to our attention, and assisting with translations.