ST Aero to upgrade Indonesian C-130s

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Singapore Technologies Aerospace is to upgrade four of the Indonesian air force's grounded Lockheed Martin C-130Bs. Maintenance and modification work will begin immediately under the $51 million contract, and is expected to be completed within 30 months, the company says.

Indonesia currently has 19 C-130B/H and L-100 transports in its inventory, and plans to reactivate as many non-operational aircraft as possible.

The Singapore-based maintenance, repair and overhaul company won the competition to refurbish part of the fleet ahead of Malaysia's Airod and France's Sogerma. Indonesia previously had to outsource heavy maintenance work on the aircraft due to limited domestic capability, but this required most of the work to be done in collaboration with Indonesian Aerospace at Bandung.

The four Hercules aircraft covered by the deal with ST Aero could also receive structural upgrades and new avionics equipment using $15 million in parts that are being acquired via the US government. Another $13 million in Foreign Military Sales funding, frozen from 1994 until Washington lifted its partial arms embargo against Indonesia in 2005, may also be funnelled into acquiring C-130 parts.

Indonesia's C-130Bs were first delivered in 1960 and 1961, according to Flight's MiliCAS database.

For more C-130 news and images, see Flight's aircraft profile