PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) will deliver three NC-212i light transport aircraft – one to Vietnam and two to the Philippines – by midyear, Shephard learned at Singapore Airshow 2018.
Arie Wibowo, director of production at PTDI, said that certification for the NC-212i’s Genesys Aerosystems S-Tec 5000 digital autopilot system, a process being led by Airbus Defence & Space, should occur by ‘this summer’. Once achieved, this will allow three aircraft to be delivered to the Vietnam People’s Air Force and Philippine Air Force (PAF) respectively.
The Vietnamese aircraft is currently being used for the certification process. The aircraft were completed at PTDI’s Bandung facility some time ago, but have been awaiting their certificate. Delivery of the PAF aircraft has been delayed well after the original anticipated handover date of late 2015.
As well as manufacturing NC-212i and CN-235 aircraft, PTDI also manufactures fuselages for the Airbus H225M, as well as tail booms and door panels for the Bell 412.
PTDI is currently building a CN-235-220M transport aircraft for the Nepalese Army Air Wing. The Indonesian company expects a contract for a second aircraft to materialise this year too.
Wibowo highlighted the state-owned firm’s involvement in customising Airbus ‘green’ Fennec and Panther helicopters for the Indonesian military, including integrating weapon systems and FLIR sensors.
PTDI is putting a concerted effort into improving aerospace safety, with Wibowo noting that a new training facility will be set up within the next two years, likely in Bandung.
Wibowo said PTDI is exploring technological collaboration with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) on a customised Anka MALE UAV solution for the Indonesian military.
A framework agreement will be signed in due course for what it considers a low-risk proposal. PTDI expects that an operational prototype could be ready with 12 months of an agreement being signed.
The Indonesian Air Force has a stated requirement for a MALE UAV, and the country would like to develop its own platform with technology transfers from a foreign OEM. Certainly, China is one manufacturer offering to cooperate with Indonesia.
However, because this indigenous development would take a considerable amount of time, PTDI is promoting an Anka-based solution to the government as a faster stop-gap solution. It is thus a business-to-business initiative.
PTDI continues to be involved in the joint KF-X fighter development programme with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) as well, despite struggles in keeping up with payments to South Korea. Approximately 80 PTDI technicians are currently working on the project in South Korea.
As the TNI-AU eyes the potential purchase of up to four Airbus A400M transport aircraft and 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters, PTDI expects to gain some involvement in terms of MRO as well. Given PTDI’s long experience of cooperation with Airbus, the company will be hoping for significant component or system production in the A400M programme.