Jakarta has earmarked $65 million for new medium utility helicopters, but the Indonesian defence ministry has yet to receive the funds.

The army plans to use the money to buy a batch of six medium utility helicopters, according to an industry source speaking at the tri-service Indo Defence Expo & Forum in Jakarta. A second batch of eight aircraft would be purchased later.

Previous reports have suggested that Indonesia's total requirement could be for 24 new utility helicopters; enough to be divided into two squadrons.

The army has yet to select a type, but has said in the past that it wants a helicopter that can perform both utility and attack roles. However, the industry source says the first role has taken on a greater priority recently.

Several helicopter manufacturers were present at the Jakarta show, including AgustaWestland, Eurocopter and Indonesian Aerospace (IAe).

Possible contenders for the requirement include AgustaWestland's AW139, the Eurocopter-promoted NH Industries NH90, and the Bell 412EP, put forward by the US manufacturer and IAe.

Source: Flight International