Garuda Indonesia has taken the delivery of the first of its new fleet of 18 A330-300s at a special ceremony in Toulouse on September 25, 2013. The new aircraft is part of the modernisation program of the Indonesian flag carrier.
The airline’s new A330-300s feature a two class premium layout, with 36 seats that convert to full flat beds in Business Class and an extra spacious Economy cabin with an average seat pitch of 33-34 inches. The aircraft are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. Garuda Indonesia will operate the aircraft from its hubs in Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali) to destinations across Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.
The aircraft will join an existing Airbus fleet at the airline that currently includes 10 recently acquired A330-200s, used primarily on long range routes, and six early version A330-300s flying on domestic and shorter regional services. Garuda Indonesia currently operates 106 aircraft.
The twin engine A330 is a so-called widebody aircraft, of which 1,250 have been ordered so far. Right now more than a thousand fly with 100 operators in the world.
The first two T-50 Golden Hawks for the Indonesian air force (TNI-AU) arrived in Indonesia today, two years after an agreement for 16 aircraft was signed with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). The aircraft left for Indonesia after leaving Seochan airfield, home of KAI and birthplace of the T-50 Golden Hawk.
The contract for 16 T-50i aircraft – as the Indonesian version of the Golden Hawk is officially designated – is worth 400 million USD. The supersonic trainers are to replace the BAe Hawk Mk53s that are now in service with the TNI-AU.
The ferry flight from South Korea to Indonesia took about seven hours to complete. Click here for an air to air shot of the T-50s escorted by a Hawk. All 16 aircraft will be delivered during the coming months, in a total of eight ferry flights.
The South Korean T-50, that very much resembles a scaled down F-16, first flew in August 2002. The Republic of South Korea Air Force (ROKAF) operates a substantial nuber of T-50s. The type is also used by ROKAFs display team, the Black Eagles.
Other countries have expressed interest in the Golden Hawk. Among those countries is the Philippines.
Indonesia buys 8 new AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters from the United States. The deal worth US$500 million was announced by US Defence Secretary Chuch Hagel in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Monday August 26th, 2013.
It is the first time the large Asian country will get the weapon system.
The US military will train Indonesian pilots and help in developing tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the Southeast Asian security environment, a senior defense official said, adding that details of the delivery and training timeline are being determined. The US and Indonesia say they both wanting to intensify the military relationship between the nations.
On a side-note a senior US defense official signals that about 1,800 US personnel are still missing in action from World War II in the waters and lands of Indonesia. The official has good hope that the remains of at least hundreds of them will be returned to the US in the near future.