Indo Defence 2018: Lockheed Martin positioned to meet Indonesian air transport requirements

09 November 2018

The Indonesian Air Force has identified a requirement to procure Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, similar to this platform operated by the US Air Force. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara: TNI–AU) is moving closer to formally selecting the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules aircraft to meet its expansive air transport requirements.

Air Commodore Novyan Samyoga, the chief of information in the TNI–AU, confirmed to Jane’s at the Indo Defence show in Jakarta that the service had identified the platform as a priority procurement given the age of some of the service’s existing transport aircraft.

In the first phase of the procurement, the TNI–AU will procure five platforms but follow-on orders are expected.

The TNI–AU currently operates about 20 legacy C-130 models, with some dating back to the 1960s. The Indonesian government has also acquired two Airbus A400M multirole transport aircraft, which are operated by a state-owned trading company, but Air Cdre Samyoga said the TNI–AU is unlikely to procure this platform because of costs. He did not elaborate.

Richard Johnston, Lockheed Martin’s director for international business development within the corporation’s air mobility and maritime missions unit, told Jane’s that the US corporation was fully engaged with the TNI–AU about the requirement and that it has recently responded to a request for information (RFI) from the service.

“We have developed a roadmap in collaboration with the air force based on the age and condition of some of their C-130s. This helps determine when aircraft need to be modified or replaced,” he said. “The air force understands the advantages of the C-130J and also the cost advantages – in terms of training, logistics, and support – from transitioning from legacy models to the J version.”

Johnston also confirmed, contrary to previous news reports, that any TNI–AU acquisition of the C-130J will proceed through the US government’s Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) mechanism, not the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) process.

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