Indonesian Army and Navy Expand Fleets
After years of neglect, the Indonesian Army Aviation (TNI-AD) is now set for some radical modernization in a bid to stem the country’s increasing threats. A deal for eight AH-64E Guardian helicopters worth around $500 million was announced in August 2013, but it is not clear if a contract has been signed. The original DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) notification quoted a figure of $1.42 billion to cover all the associated weapons (including 32 Hellfire missile launchers and 140 Hellfire AGM-114R3 missiles), support and other associated equipment. According to the U.S. government, “The AH-64Es will defend borders, conduct counterterrorism and counter-piracy operations, and control the free flow of shipping through the Strait of Malacca.” They will be purchased via the U.S. Army through the Foreign Military Sale process.
There was speculation in late 2012/early 2013 the TNI-AD was going to buy up to 20 UH-60Ms but nothing has materialized. However, AIN has been informed that Eurocopter has been contracted to deliver 12 AS550/355s, one AS350B3, six AS355NPs and five AS550C3 Armed Scouts to the TNI-AD, although deliveries are not expected to begin until 2015 at the earliest.
Given these additional purchases and the need to train more than 100 additional rotary-wing pilots over the next few years, the TNI-AD is acquiring six Schweizer S-300C helicopters. Sikorsky Aircraft confirmed on April 16, 2012, it had sold two S-300Cs, with an option on four more.
Seven Mil Mi-35Ps are now with the TNI-AL, the final pair arriving on March 20, 2013. They are operated by Skadron Udara Angkatan Darat 31, based at Achmad Yani Airport, Samerang, which also operates 12 Kazan Mi-17-V5s, though one was lost on November 9 last year, with the 13 people on board being killed. Another six Mi-17-V5s are on order. Three Mi-17s are being used by the United Nations for its UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
In December 2013, PTDI handed over six brand-new NB412EPs to the TNI-AD, as part of an order for 24 announced in early December 2010.
Most of the helicopters are based at Achmad Yani or Pondok Cabe, Jakarta, where a sole DHC-5 Buffalo is used for VIP purposes.
Meanwhile, three Airbus Military CN235MPAs, on order since 2009, should now have been delivered to the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) with the Thales AMASCOS 200 maritime system, housing the more powerful Oceanmaster 400 radar. According to PTDI, there are two more CN 235MPAs on order but they are likely to be fitted with the Elta EL/M2022 radar in a configuration similar to the four CN 235s delivered to the Korean Coast Guard in 2012. These aircraft will see the Nomad maritime patrol aircraft being phased out. The TNI-AL should also be on the verge of receiving one of the last CASA NC212-200s before PTDI concentrates its production on the newer NC212-400 launched at the LIMA Show in March 2013. All the TNI-AL aircraft are based at Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city.