07 Februari 2013

RTN's CL-215 Back Into Service

07 Februari 2013


A Canadair CL-215 twin-engined aircraft, or flying boat, takes part in a rescue operation during annual naval drills at Sattahip naval base, Chon Buri. The navy's two CL-215 planes have been grounded for over a decade. (Photo : Bangkok Post)

Navy's sole flying boat back in skies

After being grounded for about a decade, the Thai navy's only operational flying boat has returned to action.

The navy decided to bring its Canadair CL-215 twin-engined aircraft back into service to take part in a maritime exercise which began yesterday after engineers confirmed its air worthiness.

The navy obtained two of the planes in 1978, but grounded both more than 10 years ago because of a lack of spare parts.


CL-215 of the Royal Thai Navy (photo : Analayo Korsakul)

The navy lacks the budget to buy the new version of the aircraft, the CL-415 (later renamed the Bombardier 415 Superscooper), which has a price tag of 10 billion baht.

Instead, the navy decided to keep one of its CL-215s flying and use the other for spare parts, navy chief Adm Surasak Rounroengrom said while observing the drill at the naval base in Chon Buri's Sattahip district.

The CL-215 is taking part in a two-month exercise as a search and rescue plane, he said.

The naval exercise this year involves more than 3,000 navy servicemen, and 15 warships led by HMTS Ang Thong.

(Bangkok Post)

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