Dornier Do 228 serial 1114 of 101 Naval Air Squadron, Naval Air Wing 1, Royal Thai Naval Air Division (RTNAD), Royal Thai Navy (RTN) was welcoming ceremony at U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield on 15 February 2023. The first maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) has completed modernized surveillance systems by RUAG MRO International under Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) program by US Government. The Dornier 228 is a versatile aircraft designed for special missions as well as passenger and cargo operations. RTN currently uses its Dornier 228 to monitor the exclusive economic zone called the “200-mile zone”. The aircraft and their crews conduct ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) missions in the Gulf of Thailand’s territorial waters.
Switzerland-based RUAG International has been selected to modernize two of the seven aircraft in RTN’s Dornier 228 fleet. This also includes transporting the aircraft to and from Thailand and providing training in the use of the new equipment. This also includes transporting the aircraft to and from Thailand and providing training in the use of the new equipment. The upgrade includes the installation of glass cockpits, a remodeled interior, new mission equipment, and upgraded avionics. RTN’s Dornier 228 aircraft will be equipped with a 360° search radar, infrared cameras, as well as mission management and data link for data transmission to ground stations and/or ships. The overhaul is expected to provide the aircraft with another 15–20 years of operational service.
The Dornier 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL utility aircraft, designed and first manufactured by Dornier GmbH (later DASA Dornier, Fairchild-Dornier) from 1981 until 1998. In 2009, RUAG started building a Dornier 228 New Generation in Germany. The fuselage, wings and tail unit are manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Kanpur, India, and transported to Oberpfaffenhofen, where RUAG Aviation carries out aircraft final assembly. The Dornier 228NG use same airframe with improved technologies and performances, such as a new five-blade propeller, glass cockpit and longer range. The first delivery was made in September 2010 to a Japanese operator. In 2020, RUAG sold the Dornier 228 program to General Atomics.
RUAG International Holding AG (RUAG), a subsidiary of BGRB Holding Ltd, is a provider of system solutions and components for aerospace, defense and space markets. RUAG (originally Rüstungs Unternehmen Aktiengesellschaft; Joint Stock Defence Company) is a Swiss company specialising in aerospace engineering and the defence industry. The company designs, develops and manufactures military and civil technology applications for applications in space, air and on land. Its product portfolio includes electronics systems, spacecraft structures and equipment, launchers, fuselage sections, wing and periphery systems, aero structure components and systems, aero structure services, military systems, helicopters, and subsystems and components and helicopter services. It also provides integrated solutions and services, vehicle and weapon systems, communication, armed forces and law enforcement ammunition, and hunting and sports ammunition.