01 Juli 2010

RI Poised to Buy US Fighters, Cargo Jets

01 Juli 2010

F-16C/D block 52 (photo : Defense Industry Daily)

Indonesia has told the US it wants to buy billions of dollars of American-made military aircraft, in hopes that a US-embargo on military sales to the country may soon be lifted, a Defense Ministry spokesman says.

“During a bilateral meeting, the Indonesian government expressed its interest to purchase F-16 and C-130H Hercules [cargo] aircraft to complete its squadrons,” Defense Ministry spokesman I Wayan Midhio told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates discussed the potential sale during the Shangri-La defense dialogue in Singapore last month, Wayan said.

The US welcomed Indonesia’s proposal to buy more US-made military equipment, he added.

The US also pledged US$15.7 million to Indonesia in 2010 and $20 million in 2011 under the aegis of capacity-building programs to help “modernize” the Indonesian Military (TNI), Wayan said.

(The Jakarta Post)

See Also :

RI Wants to Buy US fighters, Cargo Jets
01 Juli 2010

Indonesia told the US it wants to buy billions of dollars of American-made military aircraft, in hopes that a US-embargo on military sales to the country may soon be lifted, a Defense Ministry spokesman says.

“During a bilateral meeting, the Indonesian government expressed its interest to purchase F-16 and C-130H Hercules [cargo] aircraft to complete its squadrons,” Defense Ministry spokesman I Wayan Midhio said on Wednesday.

Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates discussed the potential sale during the Shangri-La defense dialogue in Singapore last month, Wayan said.

The US welcomed Indonesia’s proposal to buy more US-made military equipment, he added.

The US also pledged US$15.7 million to Indonesia in 2010 and $20 million in 2011 under the aegis of capacity-building programs to help “modernize” the Indonesian Military (TNI), Wayan said.

Military aid will be in the form of training and education to be carried out in both Indonesia and the US, he added. The US offered to sell surplus fighter jets at steeply-discounted prices to persuade Indonesia to buy, Wayan said.

Indonesia currently has only four operational jet fighters — less than a single squadron — University of Indonesia’s military expert Andi Widjajanto said. Each squadron should have eight to 12 planes depending on operational, maintenance and training plans.

The Air Force has two operational commands in the country’s east and west. Each command has two bases, which in turn require eight fighter squadrons per base, he said.

A fifth-generation F-16 jet fighter costs between $120 million and $140 million, without munitions. A fourth-generation F-16 Falcon fighter costs between $88 million and $90 million, without munitions, Andi said.

There is a surplus of F-16s on the global arms market due to production overruns by US defense contractor manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The company’s capacity still reflects Cold War production levels, Andi added.

The US is also replacing its squadrons of F-16 with newer F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightnings, he said. Both oversupply and change in preference have lowered prices for F-16s in the global market, he said.

It is unlikely that the country can purchase F-16s from the US because an embargo on arms sales to Indonesia is still in effect, Andi said.

“Almost 90 percent of the embargo has been lifted since 2006, but lethal weapons sales have not been lifted and I think there is no sign that the US will do so,” he said.

“Therefore, purchasing a Hercules [cargo aircraft] may not be a problem, but purchasing a F-16 plane can be.

”The US Congress imposed the military embargo over a decade ago citing human rights violations committed by the Indonesian Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) in West Papua and Timor Leste (then East Timor).

However a recently-signed bilateral defense framework arrangement allows Indonesia to procure military equipment from the US, as previously reported, though the US stated it still expects Kopassus to respect human rights.


(The Jakarta Post)

Tidak ada komentar:

Poskan Komentar