ASTANA – The Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan concluded a contract on Oct. 24 with Airbus for the delivery of two new Airbus Military C295 tactical transport aircraft, as well as spare parts and maintenance services. Minister of Defence Adilbek Dzhaksybekov noted that the signature of the contract for delivery of the aircraft is an important step in Kazakh-Spanish military technical cooperation.
“The dynamically developing cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and Airbus Military is a result of friendly relations between the heads of Kazakhstan and Spain,” Dzhaksybekov said at a meeting with President of Airbus Military Domingo Ureña-Raso. Dzhaksybekov also invited the company to take part in the KADEX 2014 exhibition of weapons systems and military equipment and to demonstrate its A-400M aircraft. Ureña-Raso thanked the minister for active bilateral cooperation, stressing that his company will make every effort toward further fruitful cooperation. He noted that the KADEX exhibition is a renowned international Kazakh brand and said his company’s participation in it would be as effective as in the previous exhibition.
The contract concluded between the two countries is part of a wider memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Airbus and the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan in 2012 that covers the procurement of up to eight C295 aircraft.
According to Airbus Military, the latest two aircraft will be handed over in 2014 and 2015 with the final four to be delivered “in the coming years.”
Kazakhstan’s order marked the first sale of a C295 to a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the first time that a Central Asian country had procured a fixed-wing aircraft from somewhere other than Russia or Ukraine. In addition, Airbus Military signed a MoU with Kazakhstan Engineering relating to in-country maintenance of military aircraft.
Once operational, the C295s will be operated by the Kazakhstan Air Defence Force (KADF) from Almaty’s Boraldai Airbase in the southeast of the country, near the borders with China and Kyrgyzstan. Other fixed-wing transports operational with the KADF are the Soviet-era Antonov An-12BP Cub, Antonov An-24 Coke, An-26 Curl, An-72 Coaler and An-2 Colt. The KADF has also expressed an interest in purchasing up to four Airbus Military A400M airlifters.