Lockheed Martin is in negotiations with the Indonesian government regarding the potential buy of the C-130J Super Hercules to add to the B and H models the air force currently operates.
It was revealed in September that the nation’s defence minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, had claimed the air force is looking to acquire five C-130J aircraft in attempt to bring a modern airlift capability into service and further bolster the Hercules fleet, and the manufacturer of the type has confirmed discussions are under way.
Lockheed’s director of international business development for C-130, Richard Johnston, told the Show Daily that the company is currently working with the government and Ministry of Defence to best determine Indonesia’s requirements.
Formal documentation regarding the buy of the C-130J has been issued, Johnston confirmed, although a formal request for proposals is yet to be released.
Johnston noted that the legacy fleet of C-130s has proved itself to be the workhorse of the nation’s airlift fleet: “There’s a great deal of interest for the C-130J from the Indonesian government,” he explained.
“The C-130J and the legacy aircraft were put into service here just a few weeks ago after the disaster that happened here,” he added, referring to the multinational humanitarian relief effort enforced after an earthquake and tsunami hit the country in September.
Johnston noted that the transition from operating the legacy C-130s to the J model is an easy one, and added that the cost avoidance in retaining operations of the same type is “tremendous” due to the commonality across the different variants.
The C-130J is the newest version of the Hercules and is the only model still in production. While externally similar in appearance, the J model features considerably updated technology, including Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprops, digital avionics with head-up displays for each pilot, and reduced crew requirements, adding up to improved performance. It is available in standard length or as a stretched -30 variant.
Indonesia is the largest operator of the Hercules in the Asia-Pacific region, and is joined by nations including Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and New Zealand in operating fleets of legacy C-130 variants, as well as Australia, India and South Korea, which operate the C-130J.
The US additionally has a strong presence in the the Asia-Pacific region, both in the permanent stationing of the type there, and through exercises that take place in the area.