Jakarta (ANTARA) - Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto symbolically handed over five NC-212i aircraft, manufactured by state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI), to the Indonesian Air Force at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

The five aircraft are part of the total of nine aircraft ordered by the Ministry of Defense for the Air Force. The manufacturing process of three other aircraft is expected to be completed by 2024, while that of another one is projected to be completed by the following year.

"We are proud of these aircraft, given that they are the products of our own defense industry. Indonesia has been using this type of aircraft," he remarked in his opening speech during the handover ceremony.

Subianto noted that the five units of NC-212i aircraft wield several advantages, including the ability to land on grassy and sandy runways.

"I learned that these aircraft are equipped with proper and updated autopilot and avionics equipment as well as glass cockpits. They also have composite propellers functioning. Hence, these aircraft can land on difficult terrains, such as 600-meter-long grassy and sandy fields," he elaborated.

The minister further noted that the domestic content level (TKDN) of the PT DI-made aircraft had reached 40 percent.

"I appreciate PT DI. I would also like to encourage you to continue bolstering your capacity. You must have strong determination to master technology for the sake of this nation," he told PT DI's President Director Gita Amperiawan.

The NC-212i aircraft are light multipurpose transport planes that will not only be used for exercise and transport purposes, as they can also be instrumental for conducting aerial medical evacuation, capturing aerial pictures, conducting weather engineering, and carrying out air navigation training.

According to the plan, the aircraft, which can accommodate 28 passengers and carry a payload of up to three tons, will be stationed at the Abdulrachman Saleh Air Base, Malang, East Java.

All aircraft are also equipped with ramp doors that facilitate the processes of loading and unloading cargo.

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Translator: Genta T, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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