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Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara (TNI AU)
Indonesian Armed Forces - Air Force Modernization
AURI - Air Force of the Republic of Indonesia

Significant modernization did not get under way until the late 1970s, with acquisition of F–5 and A–4 aircraft from the United States, and in the 1980s, with the acquisition of F–16 fighters from the United States and Hawk fighters from Britain. The imposition in the late 1990s of arms embargoes by the United States and other countries in response to Indonesia’s human-rights violations, particularly in East Timor, resulted in a very low readiness level in the air force.

Most of the major weapons systems operated by the air force were manufactured in the United States and consisted of the C-130 Hercules, OV-10F Bronco, F-5E Tiger II, and A-4E Skyhawk. The air force also operated several B-737 aircraft for maritime reconnaissance. During the modernization period of the 1980s, the air force also purchased the Automated Logistics Management System (ALMS) from the United States to upgrade its ability to track and requisition spare parts and materials.

In 1999, the European Union implemented an arms embargo against Indonesia prevented the delivery of several Hawk fighter jets to Indonesia. The European Union embargo was lifted in January 2000, allowing the United Kingdom, to complete the delivery of the Hawk fighter jets to Indonesia and sell other arms to it.

As of 2004 the Indonesian Air Force had 259 aircraft of which only about 50% were airworthy. The fleet consisted of various type of aircraft such as Hercules C-130, F-16A/B, F-5E/F, L-100-300, Bae Hawk Mk-53-100/200, Bell Helicopters, Skyhawk, C-47 Dakotas, Sikorsky, Su-27SK/30SK, B-707, CN-235, F-27, and F-28. Most of the aircraft are 10 - 20 years old. For the next five years, the Indonesian Air Force would like to spend US$2.7 billion to purchase additional Sukhoi, Super Puma Helicopter NAS-332 and its simulator, CN-235, C-130H, and KT-1B. Both the Indonesian Military and Police operate their own maintenance facilities for routine or simple scheduled maintenance and service. For major maintenance, repair and overhauls, they send engines to manufacturers' approved repair stations in Indonesia or abroad.

Indonesia is working to expand and modernize its armed forces towards the goal of reaching a Minimum Essential Force (MEF) in 2024. But just what constitutes this Minimum Essential Force has not been clearly defined. Presidential Directive No.7 of 2008 which established the MEF concept, defined it as, “a force level that can guarantee the attainment of immediate strategic defense interests, where the procurement priority is given to the improvement of minimum defence strength and/or the replacement of outdated main weapon systems/equipments.” Over the years, Indonesia’s Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and senior Indonesian military officers have made various statements as to the numbers of weapon systems and platforms that would meet the MEF requirement. Some of the numbers stated seem unlikely to be attainable given financial constraints.

PT Indonesian Aerospace, previously named PT IPTN, is the only aircraft manufacturer in Indonesia. The company manufactures the CN-235. PT IA had restructured the company by changing the board of directors and cutting its employees from 9,670 to 4,000. The GOI, through the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency, agreed to hold a 92.9% share in PT IA. In November 2006, PT IA signed an MOU with EADS for producing 60 units of CASA 212-400 worth of $480 million for a 5-year period. PT IA is also working on several orders to deliver CN-235 to the Pakistani Air Force, Malaysian Air Force, and the Government of Thailand. In addition, PT IA has to deliver three Marine Patrol Aircraft (MPAs) and 16 Super Puma helicopters to the Indonesian Air Force and six MPAs and five helicopters to the Indonesian Navy. Besides manufacturing an aircraft, PT IA has contracts to manufacture parts for BAE and Airbus Industries.

On August 6, 2012 Embraer Defense and Security delivered four light attack and tactical training A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Indonesia’s Air Force to replace Indonesia's grounded U.S.-made OV-10. Indonesia was the first operator of Super Tucano in the Asia-Pacific region. These four A-29 Super Tucano are from the initial batch of eight aircraft purchased by the Indonesian Air Force (IAF) in 2010. The IAF has since ordered a second batch of eight Super Tucanos as part of their equipment modernization exercise, bringing the total number of orders to 16 aircraft.

The Super Tucano was chosen by the Indonesian Defense Forces to replace a fleet of OV-10 Broncos as part of their equipment modernization exercise for years 2009 – 2014. With more than 157,000 flight hours and over 23,000 combat hours achieved, the Super Tucano offers the flexibility to perform a broad range of missions including light attack, surveillance, air-to-air interception and counter insurgence. The aircraft makes excellent use of the most recent electronic, optical, infra-red and laser technologies, as well as secure radio communications with data-link, and an unparalleled weaponry capability, making it highly reliable and at a top-level cost/benefit ratio for a wide range of military missions, even operating from unpaved runways.

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