Airbus Military has handed over a CN235 medium transport aircraft to the Cameroon Air Force, making the country the sixteenth sub-Saharan operator of the aircraft.
One CN235 aircraft was ordered by the air force for modernisation of its transport fleet for utility operations in June 2012.
Combat-proven in hot, dusty and humid conditions and on unprepared runways, the aircraft was selected due to its versatility, low maintenance, efficiency and operating costs for operation in the challenging conditions found in the African region.
Jointly manufactured by EADS CASA and Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara, the CN235 aircraft is primarily designed to conduct maritime patrol, surveillance and air transport operations, with the ability to readily reconfigure for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions.
Capable of carrying up to 6t of payload or 51 personnel while flying at a maximum speed of 240km/h, the aircraft can also perform humanitarian relief and rescue missions, particularly during natural disasters due to its short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability.
Powered by two GE CT7-9C3 turboprop engines, the aircraft features updated technologies, systems, a reconfigurable cabin and a specialised loading system for palletised loads.
Additional capabilities include fast engine response, improved hot and high performance, low fuel consumption, low level flight characteristics, and a long endurance of up to 11 hours.
Having accumulated over one million flight hours, the aircraft is currently in service with 28 nations worldwide, including Turkey, Spain, Ireland, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea Air Force.
The Cameroon Air Force's current air transport inventory comprises three Lockheed Martin-built C-130 Hercules and one Israel Aircraft Industries' Arava 202 utility transport aircraft, according to Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.
Image: Cameroon Air Force's newly delivered CN235 medium transport aircraft. Photo: © Airbus Military.