Malaysia receives first CN-235 converted to Maritime Surveillance Aircraft


CN-235-220M number M44-05 during tests after MSA conversion. Photo c/o Abdeil I R through Defense Studies page.

Reports have come up stating that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has received its first CN-235-220M medium tactical transport aircraft that was converted as a Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA).

The CN-235-220M number M44-05 was reported to have arrived at the RMAF’s Kuching Air Base in Sarawak state on 17 June 2022, and was one of three RMAF CN-235 that were sent to Indonesian aviation company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) in September 2020 for rework to a MSA variant.

The program to convert the CN-235 transport aircraft to MSA variants were financed by the US Government under its Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) Program, which aims to improve the maritime surveillance capabilities of partner nations.

PTDI worked in cooperation with US company Integrated Surveillance and Defense Inc. (ISD), which supplied and integrated the Mission Management System for the three aircraft.

Among those installed as part of the MSA conversion include a new surface search radar installed at the bottom of the aircraft fuselage, and is capable of detecting small tagets up to 200 nautical miles.

The aircraft also has a new Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) under its nose, and was also integrated with a new Automatic Identification System (AIS), and an automatic tracking system to identify ships.

As part of the delivery of the converted aircraft, PTDI has submitted the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to Malaysian authorities, which is required for the conversion work that provides Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to modify the aircraft from its original design.

Two more aircraft are still with PTDI, and are already delayed in their delivery to the RMAF.

Malaysia plans to have at least six Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, and has a separate program to acquire new aircraft to meet its requirements.

[1] Defence Security Asia

Malaysia receives first CN-235 converted to Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Malaysia receives first CN-235 converted to Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 22, 2022 Rating: 5

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