In light of the search for Air Asia flight QZ8501 that went missing on 30 December 2014, it has come to light that the Indonesian Navy lacks sufficient capability to detect objects under water. But fact is, the Indonesian military has already been acting on this prior to the airliner crash. The naval capabilities are getting a boost.
Airbus Helicopters will provide the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) with eleven AS565 MBe Panther anti-submarine warfare (ASW) choppers, as Airheadsfly.com already reported in November. They will be adapted and adjusted with indigenous and own-selected foreign hardware installed by Indonesia’s PTDI. According to PTDI the mission equipment will include active sonar (L-3 Ocean System’s HELRAS) and the possibility to launch torpedoes. Especially the first will come of handy when trying to find objects underneath the surface of the sea.
The Indonesian Navy has to cover 5.9 million square kilometers of water, its economic zone included. That’s a huge bowl of water to go fishing for anything. Slowly improving its options TNI-AL already got three Airbus/PTDI CN235 Persuader maritime patrol aircraft, but has a wish for many more as the Air Force might need to deploy its C-130s it has available during peace time to assist in scanning the waters on other tasks when there is a crisis.
The new Airbus Helicopters will certainly make matters a bit easier for the Indonesian Navy. All 11 new machines are planned to have entered service in 2017 and are the first dedicated ASW versions of the type sold by Airbus to any customer.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information provided by Airbus Helicopters / TNI-AL