July 30, 2012: Turkey recently received four Meltem 2 MPAs (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) for its Coast Guard. Another five Meltem 2s are on the way. These are converted CN-235 transports. The CN-235 is a civilian twin turboprop, 15 ton aircraft with a max payload of six tons. With about three tons of sensors and other equipment, a typical load for an MPA, the CN-235 can stay in the air for up to eleven hours per sortie. Most missions are about ten hours. Cruising speed is about 435 kilometers an hour. The CN-235 is equipped with a thermal imager and electronic monitoring equipment, in addition to the sea search radar. Advances in electronics over the last two decades, creating smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more powerful radars and other sensors, has made the twin-turboprop passenger and freight aircraft ideal for maritime patrol in coastal waters.
The CN-235 is a popular choice for an MPA, as the U.S. Coast Guard as well South Korea and Mexico have also adopted it. The U.S. has been the most enthusiastic user, ordering 36 with 15 already in service. The U.S. Coast Guard calls their modified CN-236 the HC-144 (Ocean Sentry).