A welcome ceremony was held in Indonesia on Friday 25 July 2014, to welcome two former US Air Force F-16Cs and one F-16D into the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU, or Indonesian Air Force). The aircraft had arrived the same day following a 5 hours and 16 minutes flight from Guam, supported by a KC-10 Extender, the TNI-AU reports.
The F-16s are the first of 24 former US F-16s to head for Indonesia, after extensive overhaul and modification to block 52ID in the hands of Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base, UT. A further modernization will be done in Indonesia, with the addition of a drag chute capability to each aircraft. 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 F-16s left Hill mid July, first heading for Alaska and then Guam. While underway, the aircraft were delayed several days due to technical difficulties. The aircraft carry new Indonesian serials: TS-1620 for the two seater F-16D, plus TS-1623 and TS-1625 for the single seat F-16Cs. In the end, the 24 aircraft will make up two squadrons, being 3 squadron 3 at Iswahjudi airbase and 16 Squadron Rusmin Nuryadin Pekanbaru airbase.
In August, six Indonesian pilots will start differential training at Iswahyudi air base under the supervision of instructor pilots from the U.S. Air Force Mobile Training Team. Earlier, pilots started training in Tucson in the US.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest