One of the ugliest Fokker designs, the Fokker T.IVA twin-engined torpedo-bomber/ reconnaissance floatplane was a progressive development of the 1927 T.IV, of which 18 had been built for service at home and in the Netherlands East Indies. Portugal also acquired three of these aircraft.
The T.IVA differed from its predecessor mainly in powerplant, having Wright Cyclone SR-1820-F2 radial engines in place of the T.IV's 336kW Lorraine-Dietrich W-type engines. The more-powerful units required a strengthened airframe; at the same time an enclosed cockpit, as well as bow, dorsal and ventral gun positions, were installed. Twelve of these new aircraft were ordered for the Netherlands East Indies naval air force, and in 1936 the surviving T.IVs were brought up to T.IVA standard.
Coastal and sea reconnaissance operations in the Netherlands East Indies were still being flown when the Japanese invasion began in 1942, and the T.IVA was also used for air-sea rescue work, proving to be reliable and seaworthy.