The Joneses…Brunei Buying C295s

One of the three Republic of Angola C295s. The aircraft is configured for maritime surveillance. Airbus

SHAH ALAM: Brunei has signed the contract for the procurement of several Airbus C295MWs medium transport aircraft on December 2. Several as no firm numbers were mentioned in the release announcing the contract signing ceremony which took place at Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate. The release did say that the aircraft will be delivered in batches, which could mean two, three or four C295MWs. The C295MWs (Military, Winglet) are to replace the single CN-235 procured from PTDI, Indonesia in 1997.

Brazilian Air Force C295 SAR aircraft.

From the Brunei Ministry of Defence:


BOLKIAH GARRISON, Friday, 2 December 2022 – The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), as a representative of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U, Spain for the acquisition of C-295MW transport aircrafts today. The contract signing took place at the Officers’ Mess, Bolkiah Garrison.

Signing on behalf of MINDEF was Yang Mulia Colonel (Retired) Norsuriati binti Haji Sharbini, Permanent Secretary (Policy, Finance and Administration), while representing the Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U, Spain was Mr. Jose Juan Corcia Palomo, Head of Southeast Asia, Airbus Singapore Pte Ltd.

The formal signing ceremony was witnessed by Yang Mulia Brigadier General (Retired) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Abdul Razak bin Haji Abd. Kadir, Deputy Minister of Defence. Also in attendance were Yang Mulia Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Muhammad Haszaimi bin Bol Hassan, Commander Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), Permanent Secretary (Development, Maintenance and Technology), Service Commanders, Joint Force Commander, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Directors and senior officers from MINDEF, and the RBAF.

The C-295 is a medium transport aircraft currently operating in 34 different countries and is intended to replace the current CN235-110M, which the RBAF has operated since 1997. The Aircraft will enhance RBAF’s capabilities to conduct various mission profiles, including Strategic Airlift, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, as well as Search and Rescue. The aircraft are expected to be delivered to the RBAF in two batches.

Chilean Navy C295 MPA. Airbus

If indeed the RBAF is getting a fleet of C295s it will be a great boost to its fixed wing fleet which consisted of only one CN235, currently. The sole CN235 only returned to service late 2020 after being stored from 2017. RBAF previously also operated four PC-7 trainers, but the fleet was retired around 2017. RBAF pilot trainees now conducted their fixed wing flight training overseas.
Philippine Air Force C295. PAF

I am guessing that RBAF is getting three C295s – two equipped for maritime surveillance and one for transport missions – just like Angola in April this year. I stand to be corrected of course.
A C295 undergoing checks at Airbus DS facility at Seville, Spain

Once delivered, Brunei will join Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand as an operator of the C295 aircraft in the region. Malaysia was offered the C295MPA for the tender for two of such aircraft but had selected the Leonardo ATR-72 MPA instead.

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. Brunei PC-7 MkII has been retired?

    They are the same variant of PC-7 that is currently being used by RMAF. Taking them in wouldn’t be much an issue.

    Brunei CN-235-110 is also of the same type of CN-235 that RMAF has lost. Taking it in would get the RMAF Cn0235 numbers back to 8.

  2. Yup I went for a tour there in 2018, the Pilatus were already put into storage back then. Apparently its cheaper to sent pilot trainees – not more than 10 a year – to Australia than to train them in Brunei.

  3. If not mistaken we already have 4 crashes involving the PC-7 MkII. Those 4 RBAF birds could be a good addition to the RMAF trainer fleet.

    1 – 11/5/2006
    2 – 11/9/2009
    3 – 25/3/2010
    4 – 11/1/2019

    number 1 & 4 incident looks repairable. Have they been repaired and put back into service?

  4. Seems as though people expect PM Anwar Ibrahim to get things for free or cheaply because he is ‘buddies’ with everyone. Buddies with Erdogan and buddies with Brunei. Maybe he is also buddies with Kuwait and can get us the Hornets while he is at it…. Maybe he is a buddy of Biden too.

  5. There are differences.

    Getting things that is basically being thrown away and not used like CN-235-110, PC-7 MkII, F/A-18C/D; why not?

    Other people think that we can ask for free brand new stuffs; not logical.

  6. @Tom Tom
    He is certainly best buds with the US foreign policy makers and Congress. He was backed to the hilt by various US administrations, both Dems & Reps, since 1997. Of course, we’d be expecting him to pull all those strings and get more freebies, at least from Uncle Sam. If he was just any other regular passerby politicians with no strings attached, we wouldn’t have voted for him now wouldn’t we?

  7. As for getting used RBAF planes, the Pilatus aren’t that expensive that we couldn’t buy new planes if we want to (Mk 3 now iinm), but the focus is on FLIT and not basic trainer. Ditto with their sole CN235, likely since its their only one its possibly they prefer turn it into a museum or gate guard display.

  8. Seems as though people expect PM Anwar Ibrahim to get things for free or cheaply because he is ‘buddies’ with everyone.(Tom Tom)
    I kinda thought PM10 fans think the ‘world’ of his friendship prowess! Good though.

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