20 Agustus 2015
CN-235 of the PNGDF (photo : PNG Today)
Papua New Guinea Defence Force will buy four short landing planes that can use rural airstrips. The aircrafts will be inspected by the PNG army in New Zealand during the upcoming bilateral talks in Wellington.
PNGDF Commander Gilbert Toropo says they will acquire four PAC 750 landing aircraft that will cost K60 million.
He says the funding has been committed by the PNG Government.
Toropo says these planes are ideal for landing conditions in most rural airstrips in Papua New Guinea.
Arava of the PNGDF (photo : fighter control)
Therefore the planes will help with operations in border areas where troops on routine call can get in easily.
The aircraft will also help with the transportation of equipment into rural posts.
The purchasing of the planes is in line with the 2013 Defence White Paper which suggests improvement of the air force capabilities as one of the areas to overhaul the PNG Defence Force.
Currently the PNGDF Air Transport wing (ATW) is anticipating to undergo an upgrade of its current fleet which consists of two airplanes and two helicopters.
Pacific Aerospace PAC-750 aircraft (photo : suggestkeyworld)
In a recent interview, ATW’s Director of Air Operations, Colonel Ron Hosea says in order to match the administrative instructions to increase manpower in the force, they would need at least a squadron of planes on roster.
This means that the PNGDF would need to acquire six airplanes and six helicopters to meet the transport and logistical requirements of the PNG Defence Force.