SHAH ALAM: Dirgantara Indonesia or PTDI – the manufacturer of the CN-235 aircraft – announced on June 7 that the third RMAF Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) was ready to be delivered to the service.
The PTDI social media post stated that it had completed the job of converting the three MSA and the third aircraft was being flown home. The aircraft is of course tail number M44-01 which was the last aircraft to be sent to Bandung for the conversion.
It is unclear however if 01 has indeed returned home – it take almost a day to fly from Bandung to Kuching, Sarawak – as RMAF as typical never announced such arrival. It is likely had flown home though. The first two MSA – M44-03 and M44-05 – returned to Kuching in June and October, 2022, without any official announcement from RMAF.
PTDI social media post:
PTDI tuntaskan pekerjaan pesawat CN235-220 Military Transport milik Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) yang dikonversi menjadi CN235-220 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Pada kesempatan ini PTDI telah mengirimkan pesawat tersebut ke Malaysia, dimana sebelumnya PTDI juga telah menyelesaikan pekerjaan konversi yang sama terhadap 2 unit lainnya yang telah dikirimkan pada bulan Juni dan Oktober 2022.
Merupakan kehormatan bagi PTDI dipercaya oleh TUDM untuk mendukung kebutuhan operasi dan perawatan pesawatnya. PTDI pun berkomitmen untuk memberikan dukungan keberlanjutan guna menjaga tingkat kesiapan operasi pesawat TUDM.
Malaysian Defence had posted that the 01 was expected to be flown home for LIMA 2023 but of course that did not happen. Tail number M44-03 was displayed at LIMA though (as shown by the pictures below). When asked about the last MSA, 03 crew said they expect the aircraft to return by mid-June.
As reported previously, the ISR data captured by the CN-235s on operational mission could be shared live via the datalink to the mobile and fixed ground stations provided by the MSA conversion which was paid for by the United States Maritime Security Initiative.
Read the other posts on the MSA in the past.
It is likely RMAF will hold a ceremony to mark the completion of the MSA conversion soon.
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