RAAF C-130H Hercules (photo : photorecon)
RI set to procure 6 more heavy transport planes from Australia
Australia and Indonesia have almost reached a deal to procure six more refurbished Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules heavy transport aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a defense official has confirmed.
So far, Australia and Indonesia have agreed on the the donation of four aircraft from RAAF to the Indonesian Air Force.
Defense Ministry chief spokesman Brig. Gen. Hartind Asrin said on Thursday talks between officials of the two countries had been underway for weeks and that a deal to procure the six additional aircraft was almost on the table.
“This would be actually a good deal for us. The price is good,” Hartind told The Jakarta Post. “After being overhauled, the planes will be just like new, with their mileage reset to zero.”
Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith signed agreements on defense cooperation in Darwin , Australia , in July, which included a grant of four refurbished C-130Hs.
The six C-130Hs, refurbished in a similar manner to the four donated aircraft, would cost about US$15 million each, for which the financing would come from the 2013 State Budget, Hartind said.
Australia decided to decommission the C-130H model as the RAAF is currently operating 12 C-130J Super Hercules, latest variant of Hercules. The RAAF has also ordered its sixth much larger Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft and 10 units of the smaller Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical airlift aircraft.
Hartind said the delivery of the four Hercules aircraft would be made as soon as inspections were completed and approval had been acquired from both the Defense Minister and the House of Representatives.
“A team of our officials who checked the conditions of the four Hercules aircraft has just returned home. They are now working on a final report to be presented to the minister,” Hartind said. (nvn)