Sunday, May 26, 2013

Indonesia, Airbus offer new aircraft to ASEAN

The Indonesian government, in partnership with Airbus has produced a CN295 military aircraft ideal for defense and environmental surveillance missions.

Indonesia is offering the Philippines a twin-engine medium-sized, multi-role aircraft for civilian and military use, a cheaper version of the C-130 Hercules troop and transport carrier.

The Philippines is the first stop in a tour around six ASEAN countries – Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia – to promote the capabilities and efficiency of the transport aircraft.

Accompanying the airplane on its visit to the Philippines for a demonstration of the airplanes capabilities is Indonesian deputy minister (retired) Gen. Sjafrie Sjamsuddien.

“We are promoting the use of a common defense system among the Asean countries and the CN295 perfectly fits this objective,” he said in a statement.

Department of Defense undersecretary for legal and legislative affairs and strategic concerns Pio Lorenzo Batino was at Villamor Air Base to watch a demonstration of the plane which made a 30-minute flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The arrival of the Indonesians promoting an airplane capable of long-range reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare, troop transport medical evacuation comes at a time when the Philippines has signified its intention to beef up its military.

President Aquino announced a $1.8-billion military upgrade to help defend the country’s maritime territory during the anniversary of the Philippine Navy.

The Philippines has been beefing up its armed forces, starting with the purchase of maritime vessels from the United States over what observers called “bullying” by China and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The CN295 is a joint venture between Indonesia and Airbus.

Sjamsuddien said he believes a common use of the same aircraft type in the Asean region would strengthen cooperation among members while significantly reducing the operational and maintenance cost of the aircraft.

“In the segment of small and medium aircraft, the CN295, CN235 and NC212i are the perfect solution to the type of missions we undertake in this region,” Sjamsuddien said.

 A reliable source told The STAR that the Philippine Air Force is planning to purchase three NC295 and one C-130 cargo plane for rescue and humanitarian missions.-The Philippine Star

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