Indonesia's armed forces modernisation effort could include a $1.4 billion order for eight Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters, the USA has announced.

First news of the sale emerged following a meeting between Indonesian officials and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, with further details of the proposal having been outlined by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 21 September.

Jakarta is seeking to acquire eight Apaches in the US Army's new Block III production configuration, with its potential order also to include four APG-78 Longbow fire control radars, the DSCA said in its formal notification to Congress. The sale would also cover the supply of further equipment and services, including an armaments package to include 120 Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles.

Block III Apache - US Army 

US Army

"Indonesia will use these Apache helicopters to defend its borders, conduct counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations, and control the free flow of shipping through the Strait of Malacca," the agency said.

Washington is already in the process of updating Indonesia's military air power, with the nation's air force to acquire 25 second-hand Lockheed F-16s to bolster its existing fleet of 10 A/B-model fighters, which are also to be upgraded. Russia is also to supply the service with an additional batch of Sukhoi Su-30s, while other ongoing acquisitions include deals for armed Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucanos and Korea Aerospace Industries T-50 and Grob Aircraft G120TP trainers.

Airbus Military in late September delivered the Indonesian air force's first two of nine C295 tactical transports, with Australia also recently having donated several of its surplus Lockheed C-130Hs for overhaul at Jakarta's expense. Eurocopter EC725 helicopters are also on order for the air force.

Source: Flight International