Indonesia is to award Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aero) a contract to refurbish several of its grounded Lockheed Martin C-130 transport aircraft, according to industry sources.

The Singapore-based maintenance, repair and overhaul company won the competition to refurbish part of Indonesia's grounded Hercules fleet ahead of Malaysia's Airod and France's Sogerma, with the work to be carried out at Indonesian Aerospace's (IAe) Bandung facility.

The Indonesian air force currently operates around six aircraft from its remaining fleet of 19 C-130s, and plans to reactivate as many non-operational aircraft as possible. The service has previously been forced to outsource heavy maintenance work on the aircraft due to limited domestic capability, but its latest competition required that the majority of this work now be done in-country, in collaboration with IAe.

Industry sources say an initial five or six platforms could receive structural upgrades and some new avionics using $15 million in parts that are being acquired from the US government. Another $13 million in foreign military sales funding, frozen from 1994 until Washington lifted its partial arms embargo against Indonesia last November, may also be funnelled into acquiring C-130 parts, they say.

ST Aero late last week declined to confirm its selection, saying it had yet to receive official notification of Indonesia's decision.

Source: Flight International