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The Fokker T.IV was developed to meet the requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy for a maritime patrol/torpedo bomber aircraft for use in the Dutch East Indies. The original design was a twin engine floatplane with a thick, cantilever, high mounted monoplane wing and a deep, slab-sided fuselage with an open cockpit housing the two-man crew. The airplane was powered by two 450 hp (340 kW) Lorraine-Dietrich 12E W-12 engines and made its maiden flight was on June 7, 1927. The aircraft was fitted with 3 machine guns and could carry either a torpedo or 800 kg (1,764 lb) of bombs. A total of 12 were built and delivered to the Dutch Naval Aviation Service in the Dutch East Indies.
In 1935 Fokker developed an improved version, the T.IV (a), with 750 hp (559 kW) Wright Cyclone radial engines replacing the original engines. Other improvements included an enclosed cockpit and enclosed nose and dorsal gun turrets. A total of 12 of this variant were built for the Dutch Naval Aviation Service and the T.IVs in still in service were rebuilt to the T-IV (a) standard.
The T.IV (a) proved to be a reliable and seaworthy aircraft and was used for local patrols and air-sea rescue operations from Java until 1941, when the Japanese attacked the Dutch East Indies. All remaining aircraft still in service, expect for one, were either scuttled or destroyed by Japanese bombing. The last T.IV (a) was damaged and written off after an accident in May 1941.