Air International 1999-05
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J.Haynes - All at Sea /Military aviation/
Converted regional airliners can make admirable maritime patrol aircraft, offering useful cabin volume for operators and equipment, economical operating costs and low development costs. The Fokker F.27 Maritime Enforcer, in service with the Royal Thai Navy, is a classic example of how such an aircraft can be modified. It has been fitted with two stub pylons on the fuselage sides and six underwing pylons for a variety of stores including torpedoes, depth charges and rocket pods.
Three de Havilland Canada Dash 8 Series 200As have been modified by Field Aviation Company Inc for use by Surveillance Australia on contract from the Australian Customs Service. They are fitted for EEZ patrol with a Texas Instruments surveillance radar in a ventral radome, an integrated tactical data system and a Wescam Optronics surveillance turret housing a Mitsubishi IRST and LLTV.
Even commuter airliners may have cabins sufficiently spacious to house mission equipment and personnel. This Jetstream 41 is the first of two aircraft modified by British Aerospace Regional Aircraft and FR Aviation for search and rescue duties with the Hong Kong Government Flying Service.
U-125A (Hawker 800 maritime SAR variant) of the JASDF
A total of 47 CASA 212s are in service with 11 different operators for maritime patrol duties, including this C212-400 Patrullero which was delivered last December to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food. It is the first series aircraft to incorporate a 360 search radar and will undertake inspection, surveillance and support missions for the Spanish fishing fleet.
This view of a Finnish Frontier Guard Dornier 228 clearly illustrates the underfuselage-mounted surveillance radar and undercarriage sponson-mounted forward-looking infra-red system. Modifications to the standard light transport variant include enhanced corrosion protection, four wing hardpoints and radome beneath the fuselage.