Hunt Begins For Aircraft Platform For Indian Coastguard's New Eyes

Let's face it. The trusty Do-228 can only do so much, and the Indian Coastguard knows it. Given how much it's got on its plate, this is probably a good time to decide that it needs more. Thankfully, it already has.

India is looking to choose a new aircraft platform for the Coastguard's requirement of 19 multi-mission maritime aircraft, a broad requirement that has been known for a while, but now down to numbers and specifics. The Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), has sent out a global request for information to international airframers to pitch suitably modified aircraft for the officially titled Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMMA).

According to the CABS request for information, "The initial requirement is for 6 certified and modified aircraft. Another 3 aircrafts are envisaged in Phase II and shall be under option clause. The future requirement is for another 10 such aircrafts."

The CABS laboratory appears to be an integrator, more than a lead developer on the platform. It has floated tenders for the platform's intended maritime patrol radar and electro-optic system/infrared (EO/IR) suite, in addition to a pollution surveillance suite.

The officially listed roles for the proposed aircraft platform include maritime surveillance and interdiction, search and rescue, cargo and personnel transportation, air ambulance and pollution surveillance.

CABS is currently steeped in the flight and systems testing on the Embraer-CABS AEW&C platform in Bangalore. The RFI for the MMMA does not specify the kind of aircraft CABS is looking for. Does Embraer have a presumable advantage?

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