KATHMANDU, Nov 3: Nepal Army (NA) on Saturday received a medium fixed-wing cargo aircraft it purchased from an Indonesia-based company, taking the number of its cargo aircraft and helicopters to 20.
The national army purchased the fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by CASA aircraft manufacturing company in Indonesia at the cost of USD 30 million. A Letter of Credit (LC) to purchase this aircraft was opened in August, 2017.
NA Spokesperson Bigyan Dev Pandey said this is a multi-purpose aircraft with a capacity to carry 51 persons. “We plan to use this aircraft to transport cargo, passengers and for the paratroop trainings,” said Pandey. The aircraft with a call sign CN 235-200 can carry 35 paratroopers at one time.
NA currently has three helicopters for VVIP travel, 14 helicopters and a sky truck at its Central Air Base in Kathmandu and two helicopters at its Western Air Base.
According to Spokesperson Pandey, NA will be receiving four military aircraft from the US by the end of 2022. While two sky trucks will arrive in Kathmandu by this December, the NA is expecting to receive another military aircraft from the US in 2020. The US has also pledged to provide an air ambulance to NA by 2021.
CN 235-200 is a medium-range twin-engine transport aircraft. Its primary military roles include air transport, surveillance and maritime patrol. Although this series of aircraft was designed for military purposes in the 1980s, it began to be used as a commercial plane.
Its commercial success was marred with multiple factors mainly due to limited passenger capacity, possibility to use only for short-range flight and lack of fuel efficiency compared to other aircraft.