The US Navy has delivered the first of three Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) CN-235 transport aircraft converted into a maritime patrol platform.
This comes just three and a half years after the United States signed a letter of offer and acceptance to begin increasing the capability and interoperability of American and Malaysian forces.
In a statement, the US Navy said the effort was facilitated by the US Navy’s Building Partner Capacity program, aligned with the US government’s Maritime Security Initiative.
The initiative aims to help the Malaysian government increase maritime security and maritime domain awareness within Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
“Malaysia’s CN-235 program will be a significant force multiplier for an indigenous Malaysian intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability,” said Ron Weinberger, its Office of Security Cooperation at Naval Air Systems Command, director.
He said it will directly support the joint efforts of Malaysia and the United States to ensure global security in the Indo-Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.
The project’s CN-235s were flown to Indonesia for completion and testing in September 2020 under Covid-19 restrictions, and the first flight took place last October.
Work on the remaining two CN-235 aircraft and several ground stations continues and is expected to be completed this year, the statement said.
The CN-235 is a medium-range, twin-engine transport aircraft manufactured by Indonesian aerospace company PT Dirgantara and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA of Spain. – Bernama, August 7, 2022.