By Priam F. Nepomuceno, PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
In line with efforts to modernize the Philippine Air Force, Department of National Defense spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez said on Monday they are looking at the possibility of acquiring maritime surveillance aircraft from Indonesia and medium lift cargo planes from Italy.
According to Galvez, the DND is already evaluating the aircraft produced by the two countries.
Galvez said the maritime surveillance aircraft being produced by Indonesia and cargo planes constructed by Italy seems to be the most suitable for Philippine service.
However, he declined to comment on whether the planes are in the acquisition shortlist, adding that they need approval from President Benigno S. Aquino III as this deal would fall under the so-called government-to-government deal.
Observers have identified the aircraft from Indonesia as CASA/IPTN CN-235 and Italy’s Alenia C-27J Spartan.
The former is a medium-range twin-engine transport plane that was jointly developed by CASA of Spain and Indonesian manufacturer IPTN, as a regional airliner and military transport.
The CASA/IPTN CN-235′s primary military roles include maritime patrol, surveillance, and air transport.
Its largest user is Turkey which has 61 aircraft.
The plane has a crew of two — pilot and co-pilot — and can carry 44 passengers and a payload of 5,950 kilograms (equivalent to 13,120 pounds).
The CASA/IPTN has a length of 21.40 meters (70 feet and and two-and-half inches), wingspan of 25.81 meters (84 feet and eight inches), height of 8.18 meters (26 feet and 10 inches) and equipped with two General Electric CT7-9C3 turboprops, giving it a cruise speed of 454 kilometers per hour (245 knots) and a range of 5,055 kilometers (2,730 nautical miles).
The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a medium-sized military transport aircraft. It is an advanced derivative of Alenia Aeronautica’s G.222 (C-27A Spartan in U.S. service), with the engines and systems of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules.
The aircraft was selected as the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) for the United States military.
The C-27J Spartan has also been ordered by the military air units of Australia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco and Romania.
It has a crew of three, including two pilots, and is capable of transporting 60 paratroopers.
The C-27J Spartan can also be configured in the medical evacuation role with the installation of 36 litters and assignment of six medical personnel.
It has a payload of 11,500 kilograms (25,353 pounds) and length of 22.7 meters (74 feet and six inches), wingspan of 28.7 meters (94 feet and two inches) and height of 9.64 meters (31 feet and eight inches).
The C-27J Spartan is also equipped with two Rolls-Royce AE2100-D2A turboprop giving it a maximum speed of 602 kilometers (325 knots) and a range of 1,852 kilometers (2,300 nautical miles).