The Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) has finalised its choice of avionic sensors for a planned fleet of Indonesian-built Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (IPTN) CN-235MPA maritime patrol aircraft.

Its long-awaited selection of a search radar, forward-looking infra-red imager (FLIR), electronic support measures (ESM) and identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) interrogator, finally clears the way for a CN-235MPA order to be placed with IPTN. A total of three aircraft is required.

Defence sources say that Brunei has decided to equip the aircraft with FLIR Systems AAQ-21 Saphire imager, the GEC-Marconi Sky Guardian SG-300 ESM and Cossor 3500 IFF. It has also opted for the Texas Instrument APS-134(LW) radar (Flight International, 2-8 October).

It is understood that the lightweight three-mode radar chosen will have provision for inverse synthetic-aperture-radar (ISAR) imaging. The ISAR option provides for long-range target detection and classification for anti-surface warfare missions.

Brunei has already selected ARGO System as the tactical mission equipment integrator for the CN-235MPA. The aircraft will each be fitted with two operator consoles with multi-function displays (Flight International, 15-21 November, 1995, P12).

The MPA aircraft form part of Brunei's long-standing defence- modernisation plan, which also includes fighter aircraft, trainers and transport helicopters. After several years of prolonged delays, the RBAF has finally begun to order new equipment.

Brunei has already purchased a single IPTN CN-235 for crew training, and earlier this year ordered four Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk helicopters. The AAQ-21 FLIR was recently selected for the new helicopters.

The RBAF Air Wing has opted for the Pilatus PC-7 turboprop as its basic trainer and is believed to be finalising on order for around four aircraft, say sources. Outstanding equipment purchases include up to ten British Aerospace Hawk 100/200s light fighters/trainers.

Brunei's next decision is likely to be the choice of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles for its planned fleet of three frigates. Bidding for the former are Aerospatiale (with the MM-40 Exocet), McDonnell Douglas (RGM-84 Harpoon) and Saab (with its RBS15). Options for the latter include the vertical-launch BAe Seawolf and Raytheon Sea Sparrow.

Source: Flight International