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NEWS UPDATES 13 August 2009

Indonesia promised Hercules cargo planes by US, Australia

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The United States and Australian governments have promised to supply Indonesia with the types E and J giant C-130 Hercules cargo planes, reported state news agency Antara.

Planning Assistant to Air Force Chief of Staff Air Vice Marshal Erry Biatmoko said in Jakarta Wednesday the United States had offered to grant six type-E Hercules cargo planes which would be ready to be sent to Indonesia in 2012.

"The six, actually meant for three countries in Asia and Africa, had been improved and modified before their dispatch to Indonesia," he said.

Previously, the US government promised Indonesia six types H and J C-130 Hercules planes. The aid takes the form of price cuts under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) facility and spare parts.

In the meantime, Australia offered Indonesia type-J Hercules, but still on long-term bases," Erry said.

Indonesia had been using C-130Bs since 1960 which had arrived in Indonesia in two stages. In the first stage, Indonesia bought eight C-130Bs and two KC-130Bs (air-refueling capability) from Lochheed.

In the second stage in 1975 after receiving a grant from the United States, Indonesia got three C-130Bs along with T-33A jet trainers and helly S-58T under the Defense Liaison Group (DLG) scheme.

Not only that, but under a programme of enhancing the capabilities of the Indonesian Air Force in 1980, three C-130Hs, seven C-130HS (long body), one C-130 MP (maritime patrol), one L-100-30 (Hercules for civilian VIPs), and six L-100-30s had arrived in Indonesia, for operation by PT Merpati and Pelita Air for transmigration purposes.

The total of 27 Hercules planes in Indonesia are now operated by Air Force Squadron 31/Halim dan Skadron 32/Abdurahman Saleh.

Now Indonesia has one squadron of C-130 Hercules planes of different types, namely C-130 Hercules for VIPs, C-130 H/HS, C-130 B/H and C-130 BT at an average preparatory rate of 60 percent, or nine units.

In the past 10 years, the Indonesian Air Force was still using and maintaining C-130 Hercules planes under the service life extension program (SLEP), inspection repair as necessary (IRAN), and retrofit schemes at a cost of $51 million for four planes to enable them to be on duty longer, namely 15 years.

"Now the rejuvenation of two of the four Hercules planes in Singapore had been completed, and the other two will also undergoing the same treatment in Singapore and Indonesia," Erry added.


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