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Arinc wins $63.7m deal to upgrade Indonesian C-130Bs

Arinc Engineering Services has won a $63.7 million contract to modernise five Indonesian air force Lockheed Martin C-130B transports.

"The programme includes structural and electronic modifications to retrofit 30-year-old C-130B airframes with more recent capabilities and technology," says Arinc, which won the deal in December after a competitive bidding process.

The work, to be undertaken by Arinc and Indonesian subcontractors, will begin in the first quarter of 2011 and is likely take 32-36 months to complete.

The deal is a major step for Indonesia's Cold War-era C-130 fleet. The aircraft suffered severe spare parts shortages during a 13-year arms embargo the USA imposed in 1992 because of human rights abuses in the country's East Timor province, which has since gained independence.

"Arinc is delighted to start this vital work very soon, to help the Indonesian government modernise its C-130B fleet for humanitarian purposes," says Michael Young, the company's vice-president aerospace systems engineering and support. "We look forward to playing a key role in enhancing the airlift capabilities of the Indonesian air force, and in helping them meet their overall operational and mission goals."

The deal follows a US Air Force-led foreign military sales contract that Arinc received in July 2010 to perform maintenance and modifications on one Indonesian C-130H. The work is taking place at Arinc's aircraft modification facility in Oklahoma City.

Flightglobal's MiliCAS database says the Indonesian air force has an active Hercules fleet of 13 C-130B/Hs, two KC-130B tankers and four commercial variant L-100s.

Indonesia may decide on a mid-life upgrade for its 10 Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs in 2011 or 2012, but could also buy a new batch of six Block 50/52 fighters, an industry source said last November.

If the upgrade takes place, it would extend the service life of the air force's current F-16s from 4,000 to 8,000 flight hours each, and make them as capable as new-build models, according to the source. An upgrade to all 10 aircraft is likely to cost about $150 million.

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