Defence Insight - A400M for Indonesia
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Originally developed to meet European military airlift requirements, the A400M Atlas combines tactical and strategic/logistic mission capabilities. The platform's cargo hold is designed to carry outsize equipment needed for civil and military missions such as HADR. In International Standard Atmosphere +30°C conditions, it can operate from 750m soft (CBR6) strips, carry 25t and fly a 925km return leg.
The TNI-AU currently relies on 17 Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and L-100-30 aircraft, including five C-130Hs transferred from Australia.
Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) is replacing its C-130 fleet in service. Shephard reported that Indonesia is set to buy five A400M Atlas transport aircraft after the Indonesian House of Representatives greenlighted the acquisition proposal in January 2017.
Additionally, Indonesia’s Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises appears to be moving towards acquiring two Airbus A400M transport aircraft for use by the state-owned trading company PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (Persero). However, the two aircraft will be operated and maintained by TNI-AU personnel.
Indonesia has previously suffered from US-imposed arms embargos, so this factor may have played a role in Jakarta’s decision to opt for a European aircraft.
The TNI-AU has a long history of obtaining aircraft via state-owned enterprises, with maritime surveillance and VIP Boeing 737s being obtained from flag carrier Garuda Indonesia. In 1995 two L-100-30 Hercules were donated by Merpati Nusantara Airline and three L-100-30 Hercules were donated by Pelita Air Services.
The two A400Ms are likely a follow-on from the 2017 LoI signed between Indonesia’s Pelita Air Services and Airbus on a potential Indonesian acquisition of the A400M. Airbus stated then that Pelita represented a consortium of state-owned companies involved in aerospace.
The fleet will apparently undergo fit-out by PT Dirgantara in Indonesia and be operated by Aviation Squadrons 31 and 32 that currently fly the C-130. The former operates from Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in Jakarta, while the latter is stationed at Abdulrachman Saleh Air Base in Malang.
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