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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).

By 2007 Indonesia was actively pursuing two large orders for new U.S. F-16 planes and parts to refurbish its existing older models. The two deals, a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case and a commercial case, each involving several hundred million dollars, demonstrate that the Indonesian Air Force and Ministry of Defense can find the money to spend on high priority arms and are willing to buy US equipment, if the deal is right. The two purchases, which originate from the Air Force and Defense Ministry, respectively, do not appear to be coordinated with one another, pointing up the bifurcation that persists in Indonesian military budgeting, planning and procurement. These deals come on the heels of a much-ballyhooed USD 1 billion arms deal with Russia, based entirely on credit, which was signed during President Putin's recent visit to Jakarta.

The first deal involves a request for price and availability data by the Air Force for sixteen new F-16s block-52 production models, with the stated intention of taking delivery beginning in 2012. The basic block normally costs about USD 12.5 million and additional systems can run as high as USD 33 million per plane. While the details of the proposed order are not yet clear, a modest average cost of USD 30-35 million would mean USD 500 million for the entire fleet. The request was placed by the Air Force's Director of Aeronautics during a U.S. visit currently under way. The order appears to have been placed without internal coordination with either the headquarters of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) or the Ministry of Defense (DEPHAN), although DEPHAN approval will almost certainly be needed for eventual completion. This way of doing business continues to be a pattern of individual service operation.

The second deal, which is being prepared by DEPHAN, involves the refurbishment and upgrading of ten older non-flyable and four flyable F-16 models already in Indonesia's fleet, plus the purchase and upgrading of six additional planes from either Belgium or Holland. All would require mid-life upgrades (MLU) in Indonesia, bringing the total current F-16 fleet to twenty. The deal, which is still being negotiated with a private company, would involve the establishment of a Maintenance and Repair Organization (MRO) which would eventually be transferred to DEPHAN, at a cost of USD 18-20 million. The estimated cost of each upgrade of the 20 planes is USD 9-11 million, excluding the cost of purchasing the six foreign planes.

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 IAF’s 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, Indonesia’s addition of 24 F-16s will allow that nation’s 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.

The Indonesian Air Force received the first three of 24 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D upgraded aircraft on 25 July 2014. The US transferred the aircraft under the excess defense articles program. Indonesian sources reported the transfer as the Peace Bhima Sena II agreement after the 1980s foreign military sales program which initially provided Indonesia with their first unit of F-16 aircraft.

The F-16 were donated by the Obama Administration to strengthen bilateral ties, with Indonesia paying just under USD 750 million for aircraft upgrades which included new avionics, engines, landing gear, and other components. The Hill AFB Ogden Air Logistics Complex located in Utah carried out the upgrades. The upgrades brought the F-16s up from the Block 25 to the Block 52 standard with the Indonesian press reporting an upgraded AN/APG-68 (V) fire control radar and Block 52 Link 16 datalink, AN/ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System, ALR-69 Class IV Radar Warning Receiver, a Modular Mission Computer Version 5 and ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser Set.

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Page last modified: 10-02-2022 19:15:39 ZULU