PAKISTAN HAS PROPOSED supplying Indonesia with Karakoram K-8 jet trainers, in part-exchange for 15 Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (IPTN) N-250 turboprop passenger aircraft and an undetermined number of CN-235 turboprops.

The planned sale of the 64- to 68-seat N-250 aircraft to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was included in a trade memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the two Islamic countries (Flight International, 20-26 March). The aircraft are needed to replace PIA's Fokker F27s.

According to IPTN chairman and Indonesian research-and-technology minister Bacharuddin Habibie, the MoU provides Pakistan with a 30% offset against the value of the deal. The understanding calls for an N-250 purchase agreement to be concluded within six months and the first aircraft to be delivered in 1999/2000.

Pakistan is also interested in the transport and maritime-patrol version of the IPTN-built CN-235. The MoU, however, does not commit Pakistan to any specific aircraft numbers or delivery schedules.

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has a 25% stake in the K-8, developed in co-operation with China's Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing. China and Pakistan are striving to export the tandem-seat aircraft, to South and Southeast Asia in particular.

In addition to the K-8, Pakistan has proposed supplying Indonesia with its locally built PAC Mushshak piston-engine trainer (Flight International, 20-26 March).

It is unclear, however, whether the air force has a training or operational requirement for the K-8 trainer/light-strike aircraft. Indonesia already has 16 British Aerospace Hawk Mk53 trainers and is about to start receiving, a further 24 improved Hawk 100/200s.

Local sources suggest that Habibie wants to avoid imposing unwanted equipment on the military.

Source: Flight International