KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Defence has noted that it will probably cheaper to use an aerostat to monitor the coastal waters of Sabah for illegal immigrants and other intruders. Aerostats are not perfect the solution of course, there are certain limitations but we also have other solution of course like UAVs or a conventional fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft.
Since a modern UAV is not in service in Malaysia just yet, why couldnt the MMEA get the Air Force to modify their CN-235s with mission specific equipment for the role that they envisaged for the CL-415s?
There is no need to purchase a new platform or training. Just modify one CN-235 and voila we got a reconnaissance or maritime patrol asset. If the need arises, we could buy more Cn-235 with ISR equipment installed during manufacturing. These planes could also be modify to carry air-to-ground missiles if we really want them to intervene in certain scenarios.
It will be much cheaper than buying two new planes with iffy equipment fit and the modification work can be done in country. Several companies are already offering this upgrade for the CN-series aircraft, so it will not be too much risk for the MMEA and Air Force and the government.
But wait, I am forgetting that a Porsche Cayenne Turbo costs around RM1 million. And one really need the million bucks petrol prices are on a historic high….
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