US Navy delivers first upgraded CN-235 aircraft to Malaysia

According to information published by the U.S. DoD on August 3, 2022, the U.S. Navy delivered the first of three Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) CN-235 military transport aircraft converted to a maritime patrol platform. This comes just three-and-a-half years after the U.S. signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance to begin increasing the capability and interoperability of U.S. and Malaysian forces.
Follow Navy Recognition on Google News at this link

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Malaysian CN-235 aircraft (Picture source: U.S.DoD)

The effort was facilitated by the U.S. Navy’s Building Partner Capacity program, aligned with the U.S. government’s Maritime Security Initiative, which is intended to assist the Malaysian government in increasing maritime security and maritime domain awareness within the Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone.

The project to integrate an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) upgrade into the aircraft was undertaken by the RMAF in cooperation with the Naval Air Systems Command’s Security Cooperation Office and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) AIRWorks.

The upgrade includes a maritime surveillance mission suite, maritime surveillance radar, an electro-optical infrared turret, line-of-sight datalink and a roll-on/roll-off mission system operator station. Compatible mobile and fixed ground stations are also being delivered to increase the RMAF’s ISR capability.

The project’s CN-235s were flown to Indonesia for completion and testing in Sept. 2020 amid COVID-19 restrictions and first flight took place in Oct. 2021. Work on the two remaining CN-235 aircraft and multiple ground stations continues and is expected to be completed in 2022.

The CN-235 is a medium-range twin-engine transport aircraft originally manufactured by Indonesian aerospace company Perseroan Terbatas Dirgantara Indonesia and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA of Spain.

Able to carry up to six tonnes / 13,200lb of payload, or up to 51 personnel, the CN235 has gained vast experience in daily airlift missions, in the deployment and logistic support of peacekeeping forces and in disaster relief operations or any other ‘civic’ missions for the benefit of society.

Six underwing hardpoints allow the carriage of antishipping missiles such as Exocet and Harpoon. MPA can be armed with two Mk 46 torpedoes.