The Joneses…IAI MPA for APAC Customer

A CGI of the IAI ELI-3360 MPA

SHAH ALAM: The Joneses, IAI MPA for Asia-Pacific customer. Shephard Media is reporting that the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has secured a contract to supply an unnamed Asia-Pacific with an MPA like its very own ELI-3360 MPA. The story says:

IAI has secured a production contract from an undisclosed Asia-Pacific customer for a long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

Despite being unable to share key details of the deal on account of customer sensitivities, Avishai Izhakan, deputy GM of the Airborne Systems & Radars division in IAI subsidiary Elta, did confirm that deliveries of the aircraft in question are still to take place.

‘We are in the middle of a programme, specifically covering a long-range maritime patrol aircraft that is optimised for maritime surveillance; naturally, I cannot disclose the name of the customer,’ he explained.

More on the ELI-3360 MPA from IAI own website:

ELI-3360 is an all-weather, multi-mission, long-range Maritime Patrol Aircraft fusing ELTA’s operationally-proven sensors and mission systems with high-performance business jet platforms such as Bombardier Global 6500 and CL650. These aircraft offer quick deployment, low operating costs, smooth ride performance, and long-range and endurance.

ELI-3360 delivers outstanding operational performance with a high-performance mission suite. The mission suite, with its advanced sensors, provides maritime arena situational awareness, battle management, and fire control. The processed information is disseminated over network-centric communications to onboard operators and C2 centers

RSAF G550 CAEW. The ugliest bird at the Singapore Airshow 2012.

The press release from IAI in 2015 gives us more information on the MPA:

The system incorporates the advanced ELTA ELM-2022 Maritime Patrol Radar, an electro-optical sensor, the ELL-8385 ESM/ELINT system, and a comprehensive communications suite comprising radios, broadband SATCOM and data-links as well as advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) and self-protection Suite.
The integrated multi-mission Command & Control Suite includes multi-purpose operator workstations and a weapon and stores management system which controls the under-wing weapons that may include torpedoes and anti-ship missiles for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) as well as dispensable Search & Rescue )SAR( stores.

Singapore MINDEF infographics of its ORBAT in 2040.

As Singapore already operates four IAI Gulftream G550 CAEW, one may surmised that the contract for the ELI-3360 MPA is likely meant for RSAF (as usual I stand to be corrected). The service currently operates five Fokker F50 MPA with another four for utility use. Recently the Defence Ministry announced that a next generation maritime patrol aircraft would be part of the Singapore Armed Forces inventory in 2040. It is likely we will know more about the customer for the IAI MPA soon or the next change.

— Malaysian Defence

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23 Comments

  1. Malaysia? When is our turn? I heard from an insider in Government that our MPA bidding has been cancelled… will be retendered again after GE but with lower or basic specs..

  2. The big takeout from the announcement is that the order is optimised for maritime surveillance, not ASW.

    If it is true that this order is for RSAF, this continues the current setup for maritime surveillance of the Fokker 50.

  3. Marhalim, what is the latest on our own MPA program? My understanding is that we will have 3 US funded CN235 plus the 2 self funded ones plus the MPA UAV, possibly ANKA-S?

    Are the 235s about finished in Bandung?

    It’s good the Sings can afford fancier stuff than us. We just have to remember that we have to run our own race. Forget what the others do, run our own race.

  4. Yes, you are correct about us running our own race. Yes, we will be getting the three MSA, the first one as I wrote in an earlier post is expected this month. As for the MPA and UAS, as I said in another post, we may have to wait for the next GE to have clarity on the issue. AFAIK, although it is given that the MPA UAS and FLIT-LCA will be funded during the next five years, the one million dollar is when.

  5. Kamal – but with lower or basic specs..

    Can’t get any ”lower”. A radar, ESM, FLIR and mission planning suite this day and age are the bare essentials.

  6. I heard that thing since early 2021, really. Not true AFAIK. That said as I mentioned in an earlier post and my reply, it is likely that we may have to wait until after the GE15

  7. Can’t we just upgrade the 3 x CN235 MSA to become MPA? What is missing from the MSI package for it to become a full fledged MPA system?

  8. Azlan

    – Bare MPA. Will rely on Mark I eyeball as MPA with basic radar. No ESM, FLIR and mission planning suite like what you had mentioned. Too expensive for Gov to afford. Most likely to consider Indonesian or Chinese origin MPA for now under G2G nego currently.

  9. This completely wrong of course, even the CN-235 MPA offered by the PTDI is equipped with radar and EO turret. Even the Chinese ones are also equipped with the same equipment.

  10. I’m confident (me being an armchair general) that the three CN 235s will be sufficient for the time being. They have also undergone SLEP in Bandung while also being upgraded, With 3, one (possibly even 2) will always be available, am I correct?

    Are they to be based in Labuan?

  11. And remember the King Airs are still around. While it has severe limitations, can’t they still be used to supplement the 235s in the short term?

  12. Kamal,

    It’s 2022 now, not 1968 anymore. As pointed out to you in this day and radar; ESM and FLIR are the bare basics. We are not going to end up with a MPA with no radar and other stuff.

    Why do people insist on things and assumptions which are simply untrue and not in line with reality?

  13. 2025 is still almost 4 years away, there should be some movement on the 2 extra MPA and UAV by them, hopefully.

  14. @Tom Tom
    It seems the King Air MPAs are nearing their airframe lifespan, but I suppose their MPA system and equipment are still functional. I did mention the possibility to port over their systems & sensors for converting 2 of the remaining CN235s into MPAs as well. That would allow us to save money buying fewer MPAs, since we’d have a fleet of 3x MSAs, 2x converted MPAs, and then 1-2x new bought MPA. The money saved buying less could be used to get 1-2x AEW/AWACs.

  15. Joe, not bad idea, considering some of the units are new, bought after MH 370. Only problem, from my understanding is they are very basic, just the AMASCOS 100. Is that correct Marhalim? I think it’s just easier to just keep the King Airs just a bit longer until the others arrive.

  16. I have no idea whether it is good enough but the fact that RMAF has not said publicly about using them on a newer airframes likely an indication that it doesn’t want any further use of it

  17. Marhalim,

    Yes, RMAF only wanted new airframes. Not used including the equipment (unless some politician interferes..) The talking in MINDEF now from people working inside is to consider either Chinese or Indonesian airframes with very the least equipment (similar with a normal transport but maybe 1 or 2 items more only to reduce cost). Malaysia really shortage of funds as elections will be held this year and cost will be coming from defense funds. I foresee Chinese airframes will be chosen for our MPA…

  18. Tom Tom,

    AMASCOS is modular; meaning customers select what they want and don’t want. A major problem with AMASCOS is that if retained; the RMAF would have small numbers of MPAs with 3 different systems – an absolute
    logistical/ support nightmare.

  19. I’m not surprised that TUDM are not too keen on further conversions as it just meant they have less reasons to push the Govt to buy new planes after all. That would also meant a further reduction in their CN235 transporter fleet tho it could be a good thing if they were looking to reduce the light transport hauling bit.

  20. kamal – ” I foresee Chinese airframes will be chosen for our MPA…

    Just like how you ”foresee” future MPAs will rely largely on the Mk1 eyeball; which is simply untrue.

    Chinese gear under under the current political climate is unlikely.

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