12 Mei 2009

Thailand Seeks CN-235 Barter Deal

10 Januari 2006

CN-235 of the Thailand Police (Photo : Airliners)

Thailand has tentatively agreed to acquire four CN-235s for troop transport duties under a proposed 10-aircraft deal with Indonesian Aerospace (IAe).

Industry sources say Bangkok signalled its intention to acquire the aircraft, which will also include six CN-235s to be outfitted for rainmaking missions, during a government-to-government meeting last month.

Deliveries are expected from late 2007, with a purchase agreement to be signed after negotiations with a third-party conclude within the next few months. Thailand hopes to purchase the aircraft with rice, but Indonesia wants cash.

IAe has been lobbying Thailand to acquire additional CN-235s for three years, with the country already operating two of its CN-235s for VIP transport tasks. It also operates 10 EADS Casa-built C-212s for rainmaking tasks and its agricultural ministry in 2004 issued a request for proposals for additional aircraft.

CN-235 of the Thailand Agriculture (photo : Airliners)

A follow-on purchase of C-212s was evaluated, along with the Cessna Caravan, Pilatus PC-6 and Raytheon Beech King Air, but IAe’s CN-235 was selected to support Thailand’s attempts to balance its trade with Indonesia.

Sources say that although the agriculture ministry only requires about two more aircraft, its expected six additional rainmakers could also be used for transport tasks.

The commitment comes at a critical time for IAe, which has a back order to produce just three CN-235s for the Indonesian air force. The company also stands to benefit from a policy unveiled by Jakarta last month under which aircraft and other defence equipment will be acquired from local manufacturers instead of foreign vendors whenever possible.

Indonesia is believed to have already cancelled a deal to acquire 10 more M28s from Poland’s PZL Mielec for navy transport and maritime surveillance missions, with sources suggesting that the navy could instead acquire seven partially completed NC212-200s from IAe’s current inventory.

The service has already been allocated two NC212-200s for maritime surveillance duties, with Indonesia’s army to also receive one for transport missions.

A new round of talks is, meanwhile, understood to have taken place early this month on the potential move of EADS Casa’s assembly line for the C212-400 to IAe in Indonesia.

(Flight International)

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