Your Ad Here

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Navy to get three CN-235 surveillance aircraft

The Defense Ministry signed a contract Friday with state aircraft producer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) to procure three CN-235-220 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) for the Navy to be delivered in two years.

The US$80 million contract was signed by PT DI president director Budi Santoso and the director general of defense facilities at the ministry Vice Marshal Eris Herryanto at the closing ceremony of a national workshop to revitalize the Indonesian defense industry.

Attending the ceremony were Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, State Minister for State Enterprises Mustafa Abubakar, Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Djoko Santoso, and National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Makbul Padmanegara.

The officials signed a joint agreement on using domestic defense industry products to fulfill TNI and National Police needs.

“We are committed to procure domestic weapon systems,” Purnomo said.

Meanwhile, Budi said in a  media statement that the patrol aircraft had sensors to carry out surveillance and targeting missions. They are also ready for future anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

“The three aircraft are the first batch of six needed to fulfill a Minimum Essential Force concept while ideally the Navy should have 16 patrol aircraft,” he said.

Navy chief spokesman Commodore Iskandar Sitompul told The Jakarta Post the Navy currently was operating three smaller NC-212 MPA, procured from PT DI in 2007.

The Air Force also operates a CN-235-220 MPA similar to the Navy’s.

When asked whether there would be overlapping missions between the Navy and the Air Force, Navy chief of staff Vice Adm. Agus  Suhartono said it was not the case.

“Our aircraft missions are more tactical such as for firing and acquiring target data [for our warships],” he told the Post at the sideline of the ceremony.

“Meanwhile, the Air Force missions are more strategic.”

Budi said while both Navy and Air Force versions used French-made Thales systems, they have different specifications.

“The Navy version is looking downward with its sensors on the belly of the aircraft while the Air Force version is looking upward with its sensors in the nose of the aircraft,” he told the Post.

“The Navy version is capable of, tracing small contacts on the sea surface such as the retracted periscope of a submarine, while the Air Force is capable of tracing aircraft.”

Budi said the Air Force’ CN-235-220 MPA managed to track an Australian P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft well inside Indonesian territorial waters during a test flight along Java’s  southern coast.

He added another reason to have the French Thales system for the Navy’s patrol aircraft was so they could communicate with four Dutch-made SIGMA corvettes which are also using the Thales system.

PT DI is currently working on four CN-235-110 MPAs for the South Korean Coast Guard in a contract worth $96 million and is involved in upgrading Turkish CN-235s  for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare roles in a contract worth $30 million.

Meanwhile, state shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state oil and gas producer PT Pertamina to design, construct, maintain and repair vessels.

The MoU was signed by PAL president director Harsusanto and Pertamina president director Karen Agustiawan.

“It is Pertamina’s commitment to develop synergy between state-owned enterprises with a mutual benefits principle,” Karen said.(Original News)
Bookmark and Share