Indonesian Air Force chief: “We’ll buy Russian Berievs”

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) will buy a yet unknown number of big Russian-made Beriev Be-200 (“Altair”) amphibious aircraft for anti-fishery patrols and maritime surveillance, according to chief Marshall Ida Bagus Putu Dunia to Indonesian reporters of press agengy Antara earlier this week.

It was not immediately clear if the statement of the Air Force boss is backed by the political leadership, despite the fact that the Marshall said the Indonesian president agreed with the plan. Shortly afterwords the commanding officer of all Indonesian armed forces, Commander General Moeldoko, said that his country’s military wants to take up the role of a “big brother” in the economical co-operation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to promote regional order in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia is seeking to boost its maritime patrol capabilities, but so far only three CASA (Airbus) CN235 Persuader MPAs, locally produced/adapted by PTDI, have made it to the fleet. Calls are for at least 21 of these surveillance planes in order to cover the about 3 million square nautical miles (5.9 million square kilometres) of water, if one includes the so-called economic zone of the country.

The CN235 Persuader’s on station time is 8.5 hours in which it can travel 1,665 miles. The aircraft can be armed with air-to-surface and anti-submarine weapons. The big advantage of the Beriev is that it can transport 72 passengers or drop 3170 gallons (12,000 litres) of water to assist in fighting forest fires that rage on the Indonesian islands every year. Disadvantage is that the range of the Beriev is smaller than that of the CN235, with the Be-200 reaching only 1,305 (2,100 km) during operational flights.

© 2014 editor Marcel Burger
Related: Indonesia started operations with CN235 Persuader in October 2013

The Beriev BE-200ES amphibious fire-fighting and transport aircraft (Image © Beriev)
The Beriev BE-200ES amphibious fire-fighting and transport aircraft (Image © Beriev)