Getting to Know the Sophisticated of CN235-220 Aircraft Purchased by the Nepalese Military
(Source: PT Dirgantara Indonesia; issued Nov 04, 2019)
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) received orders for CN235-220 aircraft from the Nepalese Military for US $ 30 million or around Rp 425 billion. One unit of the aircraft has been sent from Bandung to Nepal with the route Bandung, Medan, Yangon (Myanmar), Dhaka (Bangladesh), then to the last stop in Kathmandu (Nepal).

This is not the first time that Indonesia has exported CN235-200 type military transport aircraft. Previously, PT DI produced and sent 68 units of CN235 aircraft for military needs at home and abroad. At present the population of CN235 aircraft in the world is 285 units. Some countries that use this aircraft include Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, South Korea, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Nepal.

As reported by CNBC, CN235-220 aircraft are multi-purpose aircraft. This aircraft can carry 48 passengers and is used for several missions, ranging from reconnaissance, maritime patrols, and transport of armed forces. This aircraft has several advantages, including quick change configurations that can be used for military and civilian purposes, private aircraft, medical evacuation, and cargo transportation. The cockpit is made entirely of glass. This aircraft also has a wide-open rear door (rear ramp door).

The maximum load when the aircraft takes off reaches 16,500 kg while the weight of the load that can be transported is 5,200 kg. This aircraft has 977 m Short Take Off-Landing (STOL) capability, ± 11 hours endurance, and multihop capability fuel tank technology that allows the aircraft not to need to refill fuel to continue flight to the next route.

Capital Loans from LPEI

The sophistication of the CN235-220 aircraft requires no small amount of production capital. Director of PT DI, Elfien Goentoro, said the production and export capital of the aircraft was funded by the Indonesian Export Financing Agency (LPEI) or Indonesia Eximbank with the National Interest Account (NIA) scheme. The value of loans reached Rp 207 billion. PT DI's success in fulfilling aircraft orders from the Nepalese Military can increase interest in other countries in aircraft products made in Indonesia. This aircraft export has a strategic value for PT DI because overseas customer satisfaction is one of the main requirements in evaluating international tenders.

"The support provided by LPEI to PT DI is one form of strategy to show aircraft products made in Indonesia are able to compete in the international market," said Yadi J. Ruchandi, LPEI Senior Executive Vice President I, as quoted by Antara. LPEI also supports PT DI to export its products to markets in Africa and South Asia.

Used for Maritime Patrol

In Indonesia, the CN235-220 aircraft is used as a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) by the 800 Air Wing Squadron 2 of the Navy Aircraft Flight Center (Puspenerbal). As quoted from angkasareview, this year there are five CN235-220 units ordered by Puspenerbal. The existence of maritime patrol aircraft is needed to protect Indonesia's vast sea area. Puspenerbal said this aircraft is the most sophisticated aircraft and is the third generation of MPA.

That aircraft is equipped with an infrared navigation system called Star Safire 380HD Forward Looking Infrared. On this plane there is also an Ocean Eye radar made by Raytheon from the United States (US). This radar is able to detect objects that are above sea level from a distance of 200 miles or 322 km. There are also devices to identify friend or foe ships (Friend or Foe Identification / IFF). The navy airmen called this plane "The Seagull" which was tasked with monitoring and guarding the Indonesian sea from the air.

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