INDONESIA'S air force has again pushed back its planned order for six Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (IPTN) CN-235 MPA maritime-patrol aircraft by a year, representing a further setback for the programme.

IPTN had been hoping that the air force would launch the MPA version of the twin-turboprop aircraft to help boost its export prospects and sustain CN-235 production at the company's Bandung plant. The air force operates four CN-235 transport aircraft.

According to industry sources, the air force has still not formally selected an avionics suite for the aircraft. It is said to be undecided about a search radar, forward-looking infra-red sensor and electronic-support measures. US Company ARGOSystems is favoured to provide system integration.

IPTN has been marketing the MPA since 1990, and had hoped to secure an order from the Indonesian air force by early this year. Other potential buyers have also proved equally elusive.

Brunei has selected the IPTN CN-235 as its MPA platform, but has still not finalised its order for three aircraft, or choice of avionics, after more than four years. IPTN has also been trying to sell the MPA to Abu Dhabi, which has a requirement for four aircraft, but a decision has been repeatedly delayed.

Source: Flight International