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Indonesia is poised to buy GAF Nomads

Indonesia is to purchase the Australian Defence Force's 20 remaining GAF Nomad utility aircraft. It will also start to take delivery of five de Havilland DHC-5D Buffalo's from the United Arab Emirates.

The Australian Army declared the Nomad unsuitable for its requirements when operational restrictions, including the barring of full-flap operation resulting from structural problems, prevented the Nomad's use in roles demanding its short take-off-and-landing capability. The aircraft was grounded in 1995.

Defence Minister Ian McLaughlan says that the sale was subject to final price negotiations and a final inspection of the aircraft, which are being held in storage at the Army Aviation Centre at Oakey, Queensland.

Indonesia wants the aircraft for maritime surveillance, a role for which it already uses 18 Nomads, which were acquired from Australia in the 1970s.

"Maritime surveillance is well within the approved performance limitations on Nomad aircraft, in contrast to the demanding role the aircraft had in the ADF [Air Defence Forces] as general support aircraft for the Army," says McLaughlan.

The DHC-5s are being taken as part payment for CN-235s supplied to the UAE by IPTN. Two of the aircraft will go to the navy, while the remaining three will enter service with the army. The first aircraft will be handed over to the army as a VIP transport.