Tag Archives: Indonesia

Four more F-16s for Indonesia

Indonesia received four more former US Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16s on Thursday 21 May. The aircraft were flown by US pilots and arrived at Iswahjudi Air Force Base at the end of a ferry flight that started at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, with stop overs in Alaska and Guam. The pilots were welcomed with a traditional ceremony.

With this arrival, the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU, or Indonesian Air Force) now sees nine former US Air Force F-16s delivered. The first three arrived in July 2014.  Indonesia has a total of 24 on order under the 750 million USD Peace Bima-Sena II program.

The aircraft are designated F-16C/D block 52ID and are operated by 3 squadron at at Iswahjudi airbase. The program suffered a setback on when on 16 april one of the F-16Cs caught fire and was badly burned.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top) An Indonesian F-16C seen after refurbishment at Hill Air Force Base.
(Image © TNI-AU)

More F-16s to protect Indonesia’s north

The Indonesian Air Force is only a month away from inducting the next five Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon jets at Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase in Pekanbaru on the island of Sumatra. With the planned arrival in May, Air Squadron 12 (Skadron Udara 12) of the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU, or Indonesian Air Force) will be able to offer what it was planned to do: to protect and control the more northern Indonesian airspace and the straight between Sumatra and neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.

A pair of Indonesian F-16Bs over Pesawat (Image © TNI-AU)
Related post: Indonesia bolsters northern defences

Pekanbaru is already home to five F-16s, the first arrived in July 2014, and sixteen Hawk Mk109 / Hawk Mk209 of Air Squadron 12 (Skadron Udara 12).

Named the Peace Bima-Sena II deal Indonesia has bought 24 ex-USAF F-16s, updated to Block 52ID and the addition of a drag chute to break quicker on shorter runways.

According to Indonesian sources Pekanbaru will get 16 F-16s, but it isn’t clear to us at Airheadsfly.com yet if that’ll mean 16 of the new 24 or that some of the older F-16A/Bs will head to central Sumatra as well. Other new F-16s are planned to go to Iswahjudi Airbase’s Air Squadron 3 (Skadron Udara 3), which already flies the older A and B models.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The arrival of the first three F-16C/D Block 52IDs at Pekanbaru in July 2014 (Image © TNI-AU)

Indonesian Sukhois on forward deployment

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) forwarded four of its Sukhoi multi-role fighters to the far northeast of the country this week. The four jets operated from Juwata Airport at the island of Tarakan in the Kalimantan region, facing Malaysia’s Eastern Sabah, the Philippines and – further away – the Spratly islands which many countries like to call “mine”.

Squadron 11 provided the jets and crew for the forward deployment, having the Air Force pilots train with the Indonesian Navy in protecting a designated area. Skadron Udara 11 operates five Su-27SK/SKMs and 11 Su-30MK/MK2 jets out of Hasanuddin Airbase in Makassar at South Sulawesi. The deployment package had to hop 600 miles (960 km) to get to its temporary base of operations.

Juwata is the northernmost airfield that the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU) can operate from in the east of the country. The Air Force’s presence in this region is sparse. The only military air base on or near the big island of Borneo – which Indonesia’s Kalimantan shares with Malaysia and Brunei – is in Pontianak 612 miles (985 km) from Juwata/Tarakan. There Skadron Udara 1 flies the Hawk Mk109 and Mk209 advanced trainers and light attack aircraft. Neither the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) or the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) have air assets in the area on a regular basis.

The Indonesian Air Force is happy with the Flankers – as the NATO-reporting name for these Russian-made aircraft is. In fact, the TNI-AU’s leadership is seeking government approval to replace the aging Northrop F-5s at Madiun/Iswahjudi Airbase with even Sukhoi Su-35s, aircraft that are even more capable than the current Su-27s and Su-30s. Meanwhile 24 additional Lockheed Martin F-16s are on their way and Jakarta is keen on bolstering its northern defences.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 (Image © TNI-AU)

More cash to US Army AH-64E purchase

The Full Rate Lot 5 production of 35 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters is about to conclude. With completion date 31 July 2015 in sight, Boeing was awarded an additional 591,2 million US dollars to the earlier contract, on 19 February 2015.

Boeing is producing the newest version of the attack helicopter in Mesa, Arizona. The aircraft manufacturer hopes for a lot more than just the 35 it is currently working on. Both Boeing and the US Army confirmed last month they were talking about a new agreement for a whopping 240 AH-64Es, to be procured through fiscal years 2017 to 2021, for an estimated 4 billion dollars.

Last year the Apache Guardian was fielded in a real-war theatre for the first time, when 12 AH-64Es deployed together with 10 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks and 15 Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors with the 229th Aviation Regiment out of Joint Base Lewis McCord in Washington state to Afghanistan. Flying mainly out of Kandahar the Apache Guardians clocked about 11,000 flight hours.

Compared to earlier versions of the Apache, the Echo model has full digital cockpit avionics, a more powerful engine that also makes the chopper go faster (155 knots vs 125 on the D-model), rotor blades that can sustain damage better, a larger range and a longer in-the-air time.

The US Army will convert 634 AH-64D to the AH-64E standard, and get 56 new build Echos in the next decade. The AH-64E is in use by / ordered by Indonesia (8), the Republic of China Army (Taiwan, 29), the Republic of Korea Army (South Korea; 36) and the Royal Saudi Land Forces (unknown number).

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An AH-64E Apache Guardian from 1st Armed Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and a Mi-35 Attack Helicopter from 31st Squadron, Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat, take off for a flight together during a training mission in Semarang, Indonesia on 9 September 2014. Part of Garuda Shield 2014. Indonesia has ordered 8 AH-64Es to complement its Hind fleet (Image © 25th Combat Aviation Brigade / US Army)

Indonesian pilots build experience on new Vipers

Indonesian Air Force pilots are building experience flying the former US Air Force F-16C/Ds delivered in July 2015. The country purchased the aircraft to serve alongside older F-16A and B versions, as well as more recently delivered Su-27 and Su-30 Flankers.

The squadron responsible for the introduction of the F-16C/D into Indonesian service, is Air Squadron 3 Iswahjudi Air Force Base. On Monday 26 January, the squadron dispatched four aircraft to north Sumatra to take part in Air Defense exercise Sergap-15.

The aircraft will fly from Soewondo airfield near Medan. The exercise will run until 18 February 2015. The video below pictures the F-16’s arrival in Indonesia last July.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: F-16s in Indonesia (Image © TNI-AU)