Ex-US F-16s head to Indonesia

Two older TNI-AU F-16Bs seen over Indonesia. (Image © TNI-AU)
Two older TNI-AU F-16Bs seen over Indonesia. (Image © TNI-AU)

UPDATE 5 JULY 2014 (WEAPONRY) | The first of 24 former US Air Force will head to Indonesia mid-July, the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU, or Indonesian Air Force) reports. Pilots are currently undergoing differential training with the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Arizona. The transfer of the first three F-16s is part of a deal signed in 2012 for 19 ex US Air Force F-16C and five F-16Ds.

The F-16C/D aircraft are from surplus US inventory and have spent a number of years in storage with 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, otherwise known as AMARG. The aircraft involved have been overhauled and modernized at Ogden Air Logistics Center, situated at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The F-16’s MMC 7000A Modular Mission Computers are being fitted with M5 software. The first Indonesian F-16C performed test flights at Hill last April, after a fourteen month overhaul.

According to the TNI-AU, the modernization brings the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220E equipped aircraft on par with F-16 block 52 standard. The updates are similar to those of the Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP), which was aimed at modernizing hundreds of US F-16s.

In June, six pilots from 3 squadron based at Iswahjudi in Indonesia, started differential training in Tucson, switching from their old F-16A and B aircraft to the new F-16C and D. The current plan is to fly the first three F-16s from Hill to their new home on 15 July, and arrive five days later after stops in Alaska and Guam. Air-to-air refuelling is required for the ferry flight.

The deal, called Peace Bima-Sena II and worth 750 million USD, also involves support equipment, further training and a Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS). The new Indonesian F-16s will be stationed at the airbases of Iswahjudi and Rusmin Nuryadin.

In the mean time Indonesia is working on becoming less depended on foreign manufacturers as far as the weaponry of its fighter jets goes. The Indonesian Air Force announced in mid-June 2014 that testing of indigenous-made BTN-100 and BT-200 bombs on both TNI-AUs Sukhoi Su-30s and F-16s was making progress according to schedule. Tests were performed from Lanud Iswahjudi Madiun Air Base and on the shooting range of Pandanwangi Lumajang.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editors Elmer van Hest and Marcel Burger