US outlines upgrades for Indonesian F-16 deal

Singapore
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The US government has outlined details of the proposed sale and upgrade of 24 former US Air National Guard Lockheed Martin F-16 C/D Block 25 aircraft for Indonesia, valuing the Foreign Military Sale deal at $750 million.

"Indonesia desires the F-16 aircraft to modernise the Indonesian Air Force [IAF] fleet with aircraft more capable of conducting operations in the outermost border regions of Indonesia," said the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). "The IAF's current fleet of F-16 Block 15 aircraft is not capable of fulfilling that role, and the aging Northrop F-5 aircraft are expensive to maintain and operate due to diminishing resources to support the aircraft."

 

© Commonwealth of Australia

Indonesia's current F-16 fighters are unable to meet operational demands

A separate White House statement said the US Department of Defense and Indonesia's Ministry of Defence are drafting a letter of acceptance (LoA). The White House expects the LoA to be signed by early 2012, clearing the way for delivery of upgraded aircraft to begin in 2014.

The upgrade involves 24 aircraft and 28 Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 or F100-PW-220E engines. The aircraft and engines will be categorised as "excess defence articles". Also included are six additional F-16s (four Block 25s and two Block 15s) for use as spares.

The upgrades will significantly enhance the aircrafts' capabilities. The package includes Raytheon ALR-69 radar warning receivers, Terma ALQ-213 electronic warfare management systems, and Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER and Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28 targeting systems.

Other upgrades apply to aircraft radios, data links, countermeasures, test equipment, spares and technical documents.

The DSCA said the upgrades will enhance the IAF's interoperability with US forces.

Indonesia has requested that the regeneration of the aircraft be conducted solely by the US Air Force (USAF)'s 309th Maintenance Wing at Hill Air Force base in Utah, and the engine overhaul by Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut.

The deal was long speculated about in Indonesia, but was only confirmed in late October in a report carried by official news agency Antara. The report quoted defence minister Purnomo Yusigiantoro as saying Indonesia would obtain the 24 used aircraft, and also purchase nine Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI)/Airbus Military C-295 medium transports.