The aircraft was officially handed over to PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The aircraft arrived at Hussein Sastranegara Airport, Bandung, on September 2.
Upgrading the CN235-220M to an MSA aircraft will have “a huge impact on the sovereignty and security of national waters with aircraft capabilities in line with the latest technology to be used later as well as strategic plan drafted by RMAF on future,” PTDI said.
Funded by the US through the MSI program, the equipment installed would be provided by US companies. Naval News understands that the aircraft conversion will be carried out by Science and Engineering Services International and Integrated Surveillance and Defence Inc. with PTDI acting as OEM.
It was reported in February that conversion work was to begin in April/May but sources confirmed to Naval News that the date had slipped owing to the Covid-19 situation in all three countries which resulted in travel restrictions to Indonesia.
The RMAF CN235-220M conversion into an MSA platform will be the second contract performed for Malaysia under the umbrella of the MSI, which aims at increasing maritime security and maritime domain awareness of foreign countries along the South China Sea and into South Asia.
In May 2020, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) took delivery of the first six of twelve ScanEagle Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV) funded by the US.
We reported last month that PTDI rolled out Senegal Air Force’s first CN-235 in Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) configuration.