Naval Air: Mini-P-3


September 1, 2010: The U.S. Coast Guard has ordered three more CN-235 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft). The coast guard already has ten of these aircraft, and plans to eventually have a fleet of 36. The first one entered service four years ago. The CN-235 is a cheaper ($19 million each) alternative to the P-3 that the U.S. Navy uses for high seas recon. The CN-235 suits the coastal patrol needs of the coast guard.

The CN-235 is a twin engine, 15 ton aircraft with a max payload of six tons. With about three tons, a typical load for an MPA, the CN-235 can stay in the air for up to eleven hours per sortie. Cruising speed is about 435 kilometers an hour. The CN-23t is equipped with a thermal imager and electronic monitoring equipment, in addition to the sea search radar.



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