Saturday, January 25, 2014

Norman-Britten Islander aircraft protecting PHL maritime territory

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 25): Norman-Britten Islander aircraft protecting PHL maritime territory
Despite its slow speed (around 170 miles per hour) and lack of offensive armaments, the Navy's six Norman-Britten N2 Islander aircraft is one of the assets being employed by the Philippines in protecting and ensuring that no hostile power will infringe on the country's vast and rich territorial waters.

Its slow speed and good range (up to 874 miles) makes it very ideal for patrol and surveillance work and it can fly between to two to three hours depending on the fuel and payload.

The twin-engine Islanders are capable of conducting maritime air surveillance, air drop, air lift and aerial reconnaissance missions at sea.

These aircraft are operated by the Naval Air Group (NAG) which is based in Sangley Point, Cavite.

Aside from the six Islander units, the NAG operates three AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopter, four Cessna light utility planes, one R-22 "Raven" helicopter and one MBB-105 helicopter.

Last Jan. 21, the Philippine Navy (PN) deployed four Islander aircraft to strategic areas in the country.

One of the Islander planes is now operating under the control of Naval Forces Northern Luzon which is based in San Fernando City, La Union; another in Naval Forces Central which is based in Cebu; one under the Western Command in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and the last aircraft in Naval Forces Western Mindanao in Zamboanga City.

"With these deployment, our unified commands have became more capable in conducting maritime patrol and surveillance missions," PN spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said.

Aside from these, the aircraft has also improved the search-and-rescue capabilities of the above-mentioned unified commands.

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