Indonesia's navy plans to order three new maritime patrol aircraft next month, with the Indonesian Aerospace CN-235 twin turboprop understood to be the front-runner.
The country's navy and defence ministry are negotiating for three CN-235 MPAs, and plan to sign a deal in December, say well-placed sources. One of the aircraft is expected to be stationed on western Indonesia's Sumatra island, and two in eastern Indonesia.
The defence ministry plans to order another three aircraft at the end of 2010, according to one source. The Indonesian navy had also approached several Western manufacturers in its search for a new MPA.
State-owned IAe manufacturers C-212 and CN-235 aircraft under licence from Spanish aircraft-maker Casa, which is now part of Airbus Military.
Indonesia's air force already operates one CN-235 in the maritime patrol role, while its navy has three C-212s supporting the nation's "eye in the sky" joint patrol mission from Tanjung Pinang in Indonesia's Riau province near the Malacca Strait, say industry sources. The CN-235 is fitted with the Thales's Amascos mission system.
Piracy in the Malacca Straits has decreased substantially in recent years, thanks to more co-ordinated patrols by Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. But governments in the region are still under pressure to further their efforts.