Wouldnt It Be Cheaper?

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….

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2186 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Fool. The CN-235s are busy hauling teak furniture from Indonesia for Datin R______. How dare you suggest such a superfluous use for essential RMAF equipment!

    Anyway, the only way to permanently fix those traitorous in SAPP is to inundate Sabah with grateful Filipinos.

    Which part of Project IC memo did you not get?

    These are politicians we elect into power. Shame on us.


  2. MeesterT,

    Think we already Malaysia-Today website for your kind of comment. Why cant we keep Malaysia Defense clean out of these non-academic and kind of stupid comments?

    Voicing out anger or dissatisfation during discussion on stupid military decisions is one thing, but putting out stupid comments based on personal feelings or hatred is another thing.

    You cant say other people fools if u can not prove that u are not a fool.

    p/s Is there any proof that MAAF hauling teak furnitures or any other comercial cargos from Indonesia? I knew a few of MAAF pilots and to me, puting that claim is a complete disrecpectful for them.

  3. Dear Mr Naz_manN,

    Do not be so naivela. The Teak furniture is not only limited to the VVIP but on opportunity basis depends on the Generals that goes along. This practice has been going along for many many years……

  4. Why don’t you ask the chaps in Subang…? Off the record of course. You don’t want to screw up their careers.

    Here’s some factoids about the CN-235s. They have very poor STOL capability and as a result they do not fly into the smaller strips that the Caribous used to. This has led to substantially heavier tasking of Nuris to support our presence in the interior regions of Sabah and Sarawak and is one reason why we have seen the loss rate.

    At least one CN-235 is set up as a VIP transport and employed as such.

    We already have 2 Beech King Airs that are really very good little ISR aircraft. Unfortunately, there is no interest at all in investing in more of these excellent aircraft that are widely sued in this role across the globe.

    Politics and defence are intrinsically linked by money. More precisely taxpayers’ money. If you actually believe that by blindly accepting the rosy picture painted for you that you are somehow more patriotic or doing the men in uniform a service, you are not. I have only the highest respect for our servicemen and that is why I cannot stand idly by and watch them being used as an excuse to perpetrate all manner of corrupt practices.

    I remember when the MiGs were almost completely grounded thanks to a screw up between ATSC and RSK-MiG. I know how many rounds of live fire are allocated for combat units. It’s not comforting. I have seen the sort of rubbish supplied to MINDEF at inflated prices. I know too many servicemen who have to moonlight to make ends meet. I met Amin Shah when he was strutting around Lumut like a pampered peacock and talking out his bottom.

    It’s my fault that I can’t close both eyes and wish away the things I have seen. Malaysia is transitioning from bolehland to bodekland.

  5. The CN-235 is NOT a bad investment. The current RMAF boss is a Charlie man I believe, as is the new USAF chief. I like trash haulers because they have their testosterone in check and have the organization to get stuff done, unlike zoomies who just zone out every time they hear ‘Take My breath Away’ (something you young’uns probably don’t get…….) The problem is that it doesn’t fill the STOL hole left with the retirement of the Caribous…..

    One thing I’d like to see is a dwifungsi type arrangement where the RMAF encourages domestic aviation pilots qualed on STOL birds to be in a Reserve capacity. This is two functions, one to help retain pilots in the essential but tough Rural Air Service and creation of STOL multi-engine specialists within the RMAF. Tragically we don’t have the airframes to allow these Reservists the opportunity to fly fast jets like the American ANGs. I’m sure a lot of pilots would sign on even if it were to just fly Hawks….


  6. Deat Meester T,
    The current Chief is from the VIP 2 Sqn and Training Alor Star background. Trash Hauler is very is slow and lacks the practicality and dynamic of Moder Day Airwarfare. You want to know why? Their view of Safety is that to climb high, reach 10 000 feet, fly straight and level so that in case engine failure they have enough heights to glide.

    The zoomies they are well trained, polished, skill and DARING. (TRASH HAULERS LOITERS TOO LONG PLUS they have stewardess to serve them coffee, milk, tea, me and sandwiches…….). Their reactions and reflexes have to be second nature and survival is their utmost objective. Whether the are attack, or interceptor aircrew. The zoomies are practical, open and fast thinking. The modern War requires the penes and cooperations of various parties and to ochestrate such an operation requires the ZOOMIES. The Mix of Intelligence (Threats, Electromagnetic Spectrum (Target Environments, Air Defence Radar, SAMS, AAA,J amming Environment, Tankers, EW jammers, Replenishment, Primary and Secondary targets etc.

    The CN 235 is one of the economical and best buy by the Gov’t but it lacks the DH 4c Caribou capabilities and STOL. It is a manja aircraft and operation on Grass Runways all around M’sia is limited.

    On reservist, will coment later.

  7. Does anyone know the stall speed for the CN-235s? The small wings and tyres certainly revealed that IPTN missed the opportunity to design the aircraft for use on grass airfields. Perhaps they were brow beaten by the CASA people who were actually designing something that would not compete with the CN-212.

    Its no wonder that the US chose the Spartan with its 75km-85km/ph stall speed although political bias might have loom large in the procurement part of the equation.

    I remembered back in the 80s when I was staying in Kampung Pandan seeing the Caribous lining up to land at Simpang. The planes seemed to be hovering in the air as they lined up for the runway much like the bugs. Perhaps that’s the reason the Aussies continue to use the Caribous as they could not find a modern replacement.

    Was the purchase of the CN-235 a good one? I am not so sure as it was done more towards the political-economical linkages consideration first. The Indons promised to buy Protons and the SME MD-3 planes as part of the off-set deal. Since the Proton cars were delivered very late, after the fall of Suharto and the MD-3 was actually transferred to the air force and later retired unceremoniously, the procurement of the CNs, to me, is kind fishy and iffy.

    As the fleet remained under utilised as a replacement for the Caribous, the procurement remained under the category of “Bad Buys”. That’s why I have suggested it is used for MPA duties, a much needed requirement for the armed forces and the coast guard.

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