Courtesy of Wikimedia



Manufactured by Airbus since 1988, the CN235 is a medium-weight, fixed-wing marine patrol aircraft, that is designed to provide surveillance over large maritime areas to detect illegal activity.

Get the job done: Known as the “workhorse” of marine patrol aircraft, the CN235 can be certified for military or civil operations, and, according to Airbus, boasts the lowest fuel burn and cheapest operating and maintenance cost of any medium weight marine patrol aircraft. It also has short take-off and landing capabilities for short runways – especially useful for smaller islands and coastal runways.

Strength in numbers: More than 270 CN235 aircraft have been sold, making it the best-selling airliner in the light/medium category, and it currently operates in 27 countries. Customers include the French Air Force, the Spanish Civil Guard and the US Coast Guard.


Maximum Operating Altitude: 9100 meters
Maximum Cruise Speed: 246 knots
Range: 720 (maximum payload) to 5,060 kilometers (minimum payload)
Endurance: 9+ hours

Currently operated for military purposes in the following countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Ko
  • Company: Airbus Defense and Space

  • Type: Manned Aircraft

  • Direct Cost: $34 million (

  • Indirect Cost: Variations of the model are available; payload options.

  • Link: Product Website

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MANU SAN FELIX/Courtesy of National Geographic Society

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