- Indonesia has begun studying available options for the air force’s AEW&C requirements
- The formal acquisition programme is expected to materialise in the 2020–2024 timeframe
The Indonesia Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU) is drawing up a schedule to retire its fleet of ageing Boeing 737-2X9 airframes, and has begun preliminary studies to acquire replacement aircraft for its airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) requirements.
However, unlike TNI-AU’s aerial fleet tanker requirement, no aircraft type has been specified in the preliminary studies, and senior members of the service are currently speaking to potential suppliers at the Singapore Airshow to learn more about options available, Jane’s has learnt from TNI-AU sources present.
The service currently operates a fleet of three Boeing 737-2X9 surveillance aircraft that were commissioned in 1982. The airframes are currently deployed with the TNI-AU’s Skuadron Udara 5 (Air Squadron 5) at the Sultan Hasanuddin air base in Makassar in South Sulawesi, and bear the registration numbers AI-7301, AI-7302, and AI-7303.
The platform has a service ceiling of 50,000 ft and a range of 2,530 n miles. In the early 1990s, the aircraft were each upgraded with identification friend-or-foe (IFF) sensors, a Motorola AN/APS-135 side-looking airborne modular multimission radar (SLAMMR) and a Thomson-CSF Ocean Master radar with low-probability-of-intercept features.
Besides surveillance and intelligence gathering in-country, the airframes have also been deployed for exercises overseas. In 2012, a single 737-2X9 airframe was temporarily stationed at Darwin in northern Australia for Exercise ‘Albatross Ausindo 2012’. It operated alongside an Australian AP-3C for the duration of its deployment.
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