PT DI Showcases CN235 FTB NG for Gunship Project, First Flight This Month

PT DI Showcases CN235 FTB NG for Gunship Project, First Flight This Month
The CN235-220 FTB aircraft developed by PT Dirgantara Indonesia. Image source: Instagram / @akangaviation.

avten.asia - PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) uploaded the new generation (NG) of CN235-220 Flying Test Bed (FTB) airplanes to its official Instagram account. The aircraft with the registration number AX-2301 is an effort by PT DI to develop a gunship aircraft project.

During the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2019 at the end of March in Malaysia, this Indonesian state-owned aircraft manufacturer has exhibited CN235-220 Gunship aircraft model designs for the first time. PT DI also mentioned that the type of arsenal that equipped this aircraft is the DEFA 553 canon which from the A-4E Skyhawk fighter.

To note, CN235-220 FTB is an aircraft for the payload configuration test. After the aircraft successfully underwent a series of tests (on ground and flying), it will then proceed to the manufacture of prototype CN235-220 Gunship aircraft.

Uploaded on his official Instagram account, the CN235-220 FTB new generation dominated by white color has red stripes livery on the fuselage and wingtips. While the PT DI logo which is also red-colored is adorning its vertical wing.

PT DI said that the aircraft that had carried out this ground run would soon take its flying debut in the near future.

“We are thrilled to show you our #CN235 after having a special livery, just need a lil more touch and getting ready for its maiden flight, SOON!” PT DI wrote on its Instagram account, Monday (8/12/2019).

PTDI PR, Kerry Apriawan told to avten.asia on Tuesday (8/13/2019) night that the plane was scheduled to fly for the first time this month.

"If it goes smoothly, there will be no obstacles, the plan for this month (August 2019 for the inaugural flight). We haven't got the exact information yet (on what date), still waiting for information from the Head of the Program," explained Kerry.

Quoted from Indomiliter.com (8/3/2019), Kerry emphasized that the aircraft was designed for the CN235-220 Gunship development project.

"Later, this aircraft that we will use for the FTB process for the development of the CN235-220 Gunship," Kerry said.

Furthermore, Kerry explained that the CN235-220 FTB was not only used for the Gunship program, this aircraft would also be a means for PT DI to conduct trials on every CN235 family variant development, both for civilian and military needs.

Based on information from PT DI, the CN235-220 FTB functions encompass aircraft development, crew development, training, system development and promotion. The Gunship project is at the part of developing the system.

The Gunship CN235-220 project is planned to begin in 2020. This aircraft uses the General Electric CT7-9C3 turboprop engine.

In addition to the DEFA 553 canon, this aircraft will also be equipped with other weapon systems, such as the installation of a weapon pylon on a wheel cover (sponge undercarriage).

The CN235-220 Gunship aircraft model developed by PT DI appeared at LIMA 2019. Image source: PT DI.

PT DI said that the development of the CN235 Gunship aircraft was based on market needs. This product will be used as a firing support aircraft for ground forces, Combat SAR, sea surveillance, and border line patrols.

The Gunship CN-235 220 will be equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) devices at the bottom of the nose of the aircraft. This aircraft will also be equipped with surface surveillance radar under the fuselage (belly dome).

Like Jordan's AC235, the CN235 Gunship of PT DI also has a stub wing. In the model shown at LIMA 2019, it is clear that the arsenal on the stub wing is a rocket launcher (Fin Folding Aerial Rocket/ FFAR) and torpedo. Stub wings will be placed on the right and left side of the fuselage.