MELBOURNE, Australia — The U.S. Navy has delivered to Malaysia the primary of three transport plane upgraded to carry out maritime patrol missions utilizing U.S. funding meant to assist regional nations enhance maritime safety.
U.S. Naval Air Techniques Command, often called NAVAIR, introduced Wednesday the service transferred PTDI CN-235 to the Royal Malaysian Air Drive practically 4 years after the U.S. signed a letter of supply and acceptance for the venture.
The plane was upgraded with an unspecified maritime surveillance mission suite. It additionally incorporates a maritime surveillance radar, electro-optical infrared turret, line-of-sight datalink and a roll-on/roll-off mission system operator station.
The Navy additionally delivered related cell and glued floor stations.
“The trouble was facilitated by the U.S. Navy’s Constructing Accomplice Capability program, aligned with the U.S. authorities’s Maritime Safety Initiative, which is meant to help the Malaysian authorities in rising maritime safety and maritime area consciousness inside the Malaysian Unique Financial Zone,” NAVAIR mentioned.
In September 2020, the primary of the Indonesian-built CN-235s had been flown to Indonesia for “completion and testing.” The primary flight of the upgraded plane occurred simply over a 12 months later. The 2 remaining CN-235 plane and a number of floor stations are anticipated to be accomplished later this 12 months.
Malaysia at the moment operates seven CN-235s with the Royal Malaysian Air Drive’s No.1 Squadron, primarily based out of Kuching within the japanese Malaysian state of Sarawak.
The RMAF operates three Beechcraft B200T King Airs in a maritime surveillance function, whereas the U.S. authorities has additionally delivered six Insitu ScanEagle drones to the Royal Malaysian Navy donated below MSI funding.
The RMAF has additionally beforehand used its Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules transports and the CN-235 within the maritime surveillance function, however these lacked specialised tools and relied on visible observations by personnel on board.
Malaysia is made up of two separate landmasses with coastlines alongside the strategic Strait of Malacca and South China Sea, and can be one in every of six claimants of possession over the disputed Spratly group of islands.
The Malaysian navy and coast guard has additionally needed to cope with the problem of piracy alongside its coasts, and militancy and terrorism within the Sulu Sea that lies between japanese Malaysia and the southern Philippines.
Mike Yeo is the Asia correspondent for Protection Information. He wrote his first defense-related journal article in 1998 earlier than pursuing an aerospace engineering diploma on the Royal Melbourne Institute of Expertise in Australia. Following a stint in engineering, he turned a contract protection reporter in 2013 and has written for a number of media shops.