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Indonesia withdraws BO-105 helos from UN task force after concerns raised over capabilities

04 July 2018
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An Indonesian Navy BO-105 helicopter, seen here at 'RIMPAC' 2014. The service will withdraw the aircraft type from its subsequent deployments at UNIFIL. Source: IHS Markit/Ridzwan Rahmat

Key Points

  • Indonesia will no longer deploy the BO-105 helicopter for subsequent UNIFIL duties in Lebanon
  • Country will dispatch aircraft from its search-and-rescue agency as an interim measure for next deployment

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) will cease subsequent deployments of its BO-105 utility helicopters in the Middle East after concerns were raised over the aircraft’s ability to undertake further United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) operations.

The matter has been confirmed by various sources within the TNI-AL, each of whom have cited various technical issues with regards to the BO-105’s capabilities.

These include the aircraft’s general inability to produce a “recognised maritime picture” (RMP) that can be shared with other participating assets in the UNIFIL patrols, and issues attaining endurance, and load parameters required for the multinational patrols.

Indonesia has been taking part in the Maritime Task Force (MTF) UNIFIL patrols, which seeks to prevent unauthorised entry of arms or related materials by sea into Lebanon, since 2009.

As part of its involvement, the TNI-AL has rotationally deployed either a Diponegoro (Sigma)-class, or a Bung Tomo-class corvette to conduct anti-proliferation patrols in the Mediterranean Sea.

For each of these past and current deployments, a BO-105 helicopter has been embarked on the vessels. The aircraft are deployed to augment the host corvette’s maritime surveillance capabilities, and hail merchant vessels that would otherwise not be within range the warship.

The TNI-AL operates a fleet of six BO-105 airframes, the first of which was delivered in 1980. The aircraft are based with the 400 Skadron Udara (Air Squadron) in Juanda, Surabaya.

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