Having made its mark in the commercial airline
sector, the A320neo is now being considered by Airbus for new
applications: as a platform for
ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) duties and as
a military transport.
The variant – designated A320M3A –
would be designed to fulfill a range of ISR roles, particularly
maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. It also can be
outfitted with modular roll-on/roll-off payloads for airlift
missions ranging from carrying passengers, troops and VIPs to
medical evacuation (medevac) and transporting cargo.
Airbus’ consideration of the A320M3A is in response to market
demand, spurred by the growing use of more capable ISR systems –
which require physically larger host platforms with increased
electrical power and more efficient cooling systems than
previously were the case for C4ISR aircraft.
One of the biggest applications of the
A320M3A is for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare, with
countries in Europe and elsewhere seeking replacements for ageing
aircraft – many of which will be encouraged to develop fleet
commonality driven by the intensive growth of joint operations
with member nations of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
airBaltic Airbus A220-300 HD Video and Podcast Interview with
Martin Gauss, CEO.