C4iSR: Air

Indonesia completes technical evaluation for aerial refuelling requirements

25 January 2019

An Airbus A330 MRTT of the Royal Australian Air Force. Indonesia expects the aircraft type to be one of two front-runners once requests for tender are issued. Source: Airbus

Key Points

  • Indonesia has completed a study to finalise requirements for new aerial refuelling platforms
  • Aircraft must support both the probe-and-drogue and flying boom methods

The Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU) has completed a study on the country's aerial refuelling requirements, and has proposed the acquisition of two new airframes for the service.

The study, which has been completed in consultation with state-affiliated company GMF AeroAsia, was carried out to finalise programme parameters with a view to launching a formal acquisition programme and funding request from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Conclusions from the study include requirements for the airframes to support both the probe-and-drogue and flying boom aerial refuelling methods.

The TNI-AU has outlined a budget requirement of about USD500 million for the programme, and has proposed that the funds be drawn down from foreign defence export credit loans, according to information provided to Jane's on 24 January by a TNI-AU source.

Jane's first reported in January 2018 that the TNI-AU had begun a preliminary study to compare the A330 multirole tanker-transport (MRTT) from Airbus and the KC-46A Pegasus from Boeing. Russia's four-engine Ilyushin Il-78 was also later included in the study.

Should the TNI-AU's proposals receive the MoD's assent, a formal acquisition process is expected to begin in 2020. The service also expects the A330 and the KC-46A to be front-runners once requests for tenders are issued.

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