Senegal plans to buy two CN235 transport aircraft from Indonesian manufacturer PTDI and use them for VIP and cargo duties. They would join its two CN235s already in service.
General Ousmane Kane, Senegal’s Air Force Chief of Staff, revealed the Air Force’s interest in the CN235 during a meeting with Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Defence Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin in Dakar on July 5. He was accompanied by Director General of Defence Strategy Major General Sonny Prasetyo and Marketing Director of PT Dirgantara Indonesian (PTDI) Budiman Saleh.
Senegal’s intention to buy more CN235s emerged in late May this year when Senegalese Armed Forces Minister Augustine Tine expressed interest in two CN235-220 aircraft.
Senegal has also shown interest in the maritime patrol version of the aircraft, Air International reports. (The Air Force flies a smaller C212 in the maritime patrol role.) If a firm order is placed, the aircraft would be delivered in one to three years’ time, depending on the contract. Indonesia may extend credit to Senegal to assist in the purchase of the aircraft.
Senegal already operates two second-hand Indonesian-built CN235-220s acquired in November 2010 and August 2012, according to Air International. They were bought under a $13 million contract.
“We use the aircraft for various purposes and I am satisfied with their ability,” Tine is quoted as saying. He said his main concern with buying more was obtaining financing. Indonesia is also offering the West African country small arms, ammunition and other equipment.
Senegal’s small air force has only a few combat aircraft (MI-35 helicopters) – its other aircraft include a single CASA C212, several Fokker F27s, a single Boeing 727, a single Embraer EMB-111 and a handful of Rallye, Piper and Socata Epsilon light aircraft. Around five utility helicopters (Gazelle, Puma, Fennec, Mi-171) are in service as well.
However, Senegal has been expanding its military of late and ordered a single AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter and three Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack and training aircraft this year.
Meanwhile, PTDI is offering its NC212 and CN235 to African countries like Uganda, as well as existing operators Senegal and Burkina Faso. PTDI has previously sold aircraft in Africa through a third party based in Belgium but may sell directly to Senegal.