Indonesia Orders Up More Maritime Patrol Aircraft
Indonesia has more coastline to cover than almost any country in the world (2nd only to Canada), and its archipelago straddles one of the world’s most important shipping chokepoints. On Dec 11/09, its defense ministry signed an $80 million contract with state-owned Dirgantara for 3 CN-235-220 MPA maritime patrol aircraft. The 3 planes are half of the 6 provided for in the Indonesian Navy’s 2010-2014 Strategic Plan, as part of its Minimum Essential Force.
The CN-235 light air transport is a successful collaboration between EADS-CASA of Spain and Indonesia’s Dirgantara (formerly IPTN).
The aircraft has picked up customers all around the world, and is sold separately by the partner firms. Despite bankruptcy issues, Dirgantara has built the CN-235 MPA maritime patrol version for Brunei and the UAE, and recently added South Korea’s Coast Guard as a customer. CN-235 MPA deliveries to their home government, on the other hand, didn’t begin until June 2008. Dirgantara had converted 3 of CASA’s earlier C-212-200 Aviocar designs to a maritime patrol version under a 1996 contract, and the last “NC-212-200 MPA” was delivered in 2007. The country also flies 3 modified Boeing 737-2X9 “Surveiller” aircraft, and upgraded versions have been flying since 1993.
Exact CN-235 MPA fit-outs are somewhat customizable. Indonesian CN-235 MPAs are fitted with Thales’ AMASCOS system, which includes Thales/EADS’ Ocean Master Mk. II search radar, thermal imaging from Thales, Elettronica’s ALR 733 radar warning receiver, and CAE’s AN/ASQ-508 magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system. MAD systems find submarines via the subtle effects of large metal objects on the earth’s magnetic field. These aircraft are armed with MBDA’s AM-39 Exocet missiles, or Raytheon’s Mk. 46 light torpedoes.