Indonesia has agreed to acquire another five Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1 primary trainers, but budget constraints are threatening to block many of its other aircraft procurement plans, including the acquisition of more Sukhoi Su-30 fighters.

Industry sources say a contract for five KT-1s was signed last month, with financing provided by BNP Paribas and deliveries set to start in 2007. Indonesia has been negotiating a follow-on purchase since receiving seven KT-1s in 2003, but budget constraints continue to delay its planned establishment of a full training squadron with 20 aircraft.

Funding issues are also holding back the air force's acquisition of a further 14 Su-30s to expand its current fleet of two Su-27SKs and two Su-30MKs into a full squadron. The defence ministry is seeking a 2005 defence budget increase of 23%, worth about $530 million, to fund aircraft including six Su-30s, but the country's president is only recommending an 8% rise worth around $180 million. If approved by the legislature, the lower budget figure would delay several new aircraft procurements until at least 2006-7.

Indonesia's air force has also been seeking about $40 million to acquire parts needed to reactivate several of its Lockheed Martin C-130 transports. However, industry sources say it is unclear if these funds will be approved, and overhaul work, which was expected to start following a January assessment of the fleet by Lockheed, has not yet begun.

Sources say Indonesia also looked at acquiring two C-130s from the US Navy's excess inventory, but this proposal was rejected because the aircraft are in poor condition.


Source: Flight International