Indonesia F-16 Peace Bima-Sena
In 1986 the F-16 won a sales dogfight when Indonesia opted for U.S. aircraft over the Mirage 2000. The purchase of twelve F-16 aircraft, not initially delivered until 1989, was designed primarily to keep up with rapidly developing defense technology until the armed forces acquired sufficient capital funds to purchase a new generation of fighter-bombers to replace its aging air force fleet. In 1990 the air force took delivery of the last of twelve F-16 Fighting Falcons purchased from the United States, which were based at Iswahyudi Air Base, Jawa Timur Province.
On June 6, 1997 the office of U.S Senator Russ Femgold (D-WI), a member of the East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement applaudmg Indonesian President Suharto's decision to drop efforts to purchase nine U.S. F-16 fighter jets. Feingold stated he was long opposed to providmg advance military equipment to the Indonesian goveinment because of concerns over its "abysmal human rights record in East Timor". The Indonesian government stated it dropped the offer m frustration because of Congressional delays and a flawed U.S. foreign military sales policy. Despite efforts spearheaded by the United States Air Force and the State Departinent to see the deal through, the Clinton Administration wrthdrew its support to broker this $200 million dollar deal under pressure from Congress and other interest groups.
In fact, Congressional concerns for Indonesia's human rights record may have had little inipact on President Clinton's decision to withdraw support for the deal. The little drama surroundmg the F-16 sale to Indonesia clearly demonstrates Mile's Law of Bureaucratic Politics. Specifically, how any group sees an issue depends upon where the actors stand. Indonesia had originally agreed to the F-16 purchase in response to a US request. The proclivity of Congress to see US-Indonesia ties as a morality play defined by the words "East Timor" and "Riady" put continued pressure on the U.S. side of the relationship. Suharto's letter to President Clinton on 02 June 1997 announced that Indonesia nolonger had a need for F-16 aircraft or participation in the International Military Education andTraining program (IMET).
On 16 November 2011 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Indonesia for the regeneration and upgrade of 24 F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $750 million. This notice of a potential sale was required by law and did not mean the sale has been concluded.
The Government of Indonesia requested a sale for the regeneration and upgrade of 24 F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft and 28 F100-PW-200 or F100-PW-220E engines being granted as Excess Defense Articles. The upgrade includes the following major systems and components: LAU-129A/A Launchers, ALR-69 Radar Warning Receivers, ARC-164/186 Radios, Expanded Enhanced Fire Control (EEFC) or Commercial Fire Control, or Modular Mission Computers, ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management Systems, ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser Systems, Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD), Situational Awareness Data Link, Enhance Position Location Reporting Systems (EPLRS), LN-260 (SPS version, non-PPS), and AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER or AN/AAQ-28 LITENING Targeting Systems. Also included are tools, support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $750 million.
The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner that has been, and continues to be, an important force for economic progress in Southeast Asia. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
Indonesia desired the F-16 aircraft to modernize the Indonesian Air Force (IAF) fleet with aircraft more capable of conducting operations in the outermost border regions of Indonesia. The IAFís current fleet of F-16 Block 15 aircraft was not capable of fulfilling that role, and the aging F-5 aircraft were expensive to maintain and operate due to diminishing resources existing to support the aircraft. The avionics upgrade will provide the IAF an additional capability benefitting security by modernizing the force structure, and enhancing interoperability by greater use of U.S.-produced equipment. Indonesia, which already had 10 F-16 Block 15 and F-5 aircraft in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing these upgraded systems.
Indonesia requested the regeneration be sole sourced to the 309th Maintenance Wing, Hill Air Force Base, in Ogden, Utah, and Pratt Whitney, in East Hartford, Connecticut for the engine overhaul. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
On 18 November 2011 the U.S. and Indonesian presidents issued a joint statement from Bali, Indonesia, reaffirming their deepening engagement and announcing the planned transfer and upgrade of 24 Excess Defense Article F-16s to the Indonesian air force. President Barack Obama was in Indonesia participating in the East Asia Summit. The two presidents welcomed the outcome of the Indonesia-U.S. Security Dialogue (IUSSD) in Jakarta on September 22-23, 2011. According to a White House fact sheet, Indonesiaís addition of 24 F-16s will allow that nationís government to significantly bolster air defense capacity without compromising the defense budget and other national priorities. The new agreement represents the largest transfer of defense articles in the history of the U.S.-Indonesia bilateral relationship, the fact sheet said. The U.S. government was working to begin delivery of aircraft by July 2014, as requested by the government of Indonesia.
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