he government plans to procure a spy plane from Indonesia and a troop transport aircraft from Italy, the Department of National Defense (DND) said yesterday.
Peter Paul Galvez, DND spokesman, said the long-range maritime patrol and surveillance plane is manufactured in Indonesia under a joint venture agreement with Spain.
“On our shortlist is the Indonesian aircraft,” he said. “The long-range patrol aircraft would be devoted solely to conducting maritime surveillance.”
The DND is also scouting for a medium lift aircraft from other European countries at a lower cost, Galvez said.
Once President Aquino approves the acquisition, the spy plane would strengthen the country’s maritime domain awareness.
For a long time, the Armed Forces has been relying mainly on a small number of Islander planes for maritime and territorial patrol.
The spy plane is the CASA/IPTN CN-235. The CN-235 surveillance aircraft can double as a military transport plane. Its largest user is Turkey with 61 aircraft.
The surveillance plane has a crew of two, a pilot and co-pilot, and can carry 44 passengers and a payload of 13,120 pounds with a cruising speed of 454 kilometers per hour and a range of 2,730 nautical miles.