Naval Air: Indonesia Buys Local


December 16, 2009: The Indonesian Navy is buying three CN-235-220 aircraft for maritime patrol duty. The aircraft will cost about $27 million each. The navy feels it needs 16 of these aircraft, but only expects to get six in the near future. Indonesia is an archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, containing 17,000 islands (11,000 uninhabited). Land area is 1.8 million square kilometers (three times the size of Texas), with a coastline of 54,716 kilometers. Thus the need for 16 maritime patrol aircraft.

The CN-235s were jointly developed by Spain and Indonesia. These two engine transports are often converted to maritime patrol aircraft. The 16 ton CN-235 can carry four tons of equipment and stay in the air for about eight hours per sortie. Cruise speed is about 380 kilometers an hour. A search radar can see out to 360 kilometers, and track up to a hundred ships at once. Adding radio and communications equipment for maritime patrol work adds about $10 million to the cost of each CN-235 transport. The Indonesian Air Force operates CN-235s as transports. Several other nations (like Turkey, South Korea and Mexico) also use the maritime patrol version.