Amid funding challenges, Indonesia eyes A400M for aerial tanker requirements

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Royal Malaysian Air Force A400M aircraft in Langkawi. Indonesia is now considering if the aircraft type is suitable for its aerial tanker and military lift requirements. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Indonesia has revisited plans to procure a fleet of Airbus A400M aircraft to enhance its military airlift capabilities, however, it is now in talks to decide if the airframe can also fulfil its air force's in-flight refuelling requirements.

Documents forwarded to Janes reveal that the matter was discussed at a virtual meeting between the Indonesian Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) Directorate General for Defence Potential (DDP) and representatives from Airbus Indonesia on 1 October.

Also present during the meeting were officials from state-owned defence electronics company PT Len, Bandung-based aerospace firm PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), aircraft maintenance company PT GMF AeroAsia, and directors overseeing offset matters at the DDP's office.

As reported by Janes in June 2021, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance (MoF) has granted approval for the country to obtain up to USD700 million in foreign loans to procure two aerial tankers for the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU).


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Seoul’s ADEX escapes the worst of Covid-19 cancellations

by Gareth Jennings

As the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition 2021 is staged at Seoul Airport on the outskirts of the South Korean capital from 19 to 21 October, Gareth Jennings explores the expected developments at the show…

ADEX, as the event is popularly known, is rapidly becoming one of Asia-Pacific's most influential and prestigious aviation, aerospace and defence events, along with Aero India, Avalon in Australia, the Singapore Air Show, and the China Air Show in Zhuhai in China.

For organisers, the biennial show has been fortunate to escape the worst of the Covid-19 cancellations and postponements that have blighted other similar events over the last couple of years, with the previous ADEX in 2019 having been staged just ahead of the global shutdown, and this latest iteration coming just on the back of it. There will, however, be a reduced international participation at this year’s event as global travel restrictions remain place.

 

With Covid-19 having also taken the gloss off previously announced defence budget increases (in 2021, nearly USD500 million was shaved off defence expenditure for the year to help pay for the pandemic), South Korea in general and the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) in particular will be keen to once again being showing their wares to the world at this 14th running of ADEX.

Although the RoKAF has increasingly taken on an expeditionary role in recent years, it remains the threat from North Korea that drives the service's procurement and modernisation plans (for instance). To this end, the RoKAF's acquisition planning is focused primarily on strengthening its air combat capabilities with the latest precision strike and air defence assets, and ADEX will bring the latest news on a planned follow-on buy of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), as well as latest developments on the KF-21 Boramae (previously known as KF-X) programme in particular. 

With a keen focus on military affairs, Janes interconnected intelligence spans across the globe. For those with a particular eye for South Korean aviation, please see below for our latest analysis of the country’s developments….

  • ADEX 2021: KF-21 Boramae to take centre-stage (read more)
  • ADEX 2021: Uncrewed aircraft to feature strongly in Seoul (read more)
  • ADEX 2021: Persistent threat from North Korea drives RoKAF modernisation (read more)
  • South Korea to buy 1,000 more UAVs by 2027 (read more)
  • South Korea advances space force plans (read more)
  • South Korean military to deploy VTOL UAVs for coastal surveillance and reconnaissance (read more)
  • South Korea testing several new missiles amid tensions with Pyongyang (read more)
  • South Korea to start trial operations of ‘grenade-launching' and ‘small modular' UAVs in 2022 (read more)
  • KAI to support Boeing in upgrading RoKAF's E-737 AEW&C aircraft (read more)    
  • Korean Air begins research on RoKAF-commissioned project to launch space rockets using commercial aircraft (read more)
  • Korean Air to bid for second Baekdu ISR project (read more)

ADEX 2021: Uncrewed aircraft to feature strongly in Seoul

by Gareth Jennings

Since being displayed at ADEX 2019, theKUS-VHhas been waiting on a RoKA decision as to whether the unmannedMD 500will be rolled out operationally. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

South Korean defence contractors are expected to put unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the forefront of their exhibits at this year's Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX), taking place from 19 to 24 October.

As with previous iterations of the biennial event held at Seoul Airport, this year's ADEX will look to showcase uncrewed technologies and developments from across the spectrum of South Korea's domestic defence industry, as well as those from the military itself.

Original equipment manufacturers Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), as well as South Korea's Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and also foreign partners are all expected to show their wares.

For KAL-ASD, its uncrewed systems and concepts comprise the Korean Unmanned System (KUS)-VH unmanned Little Bird helicopter, KUS-FT fixed-wing tactical UAS, KUS-FS medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS, and KUS-VT tiltrotor UAS. For KAI, the KUS-FC ‘stealth' unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) will likely be front-and-centre at the event.


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AUSA 2021: AeroVironment touts maintenance ease of Jump 20 UAV

by Pat Host

The AeroVironment Arcturus Jump 20 vertical take-off and landing UAV on display at the Association of the United States Army's annual convention in Washington, DC, on 11 October 2021. (Janes/Pat Host)

AeroVironment is promoting the maintainability of its Arcturus Jump 20 Group 3 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that the company had on display at the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA's) annual convention for the first time.

Tracy Stapleton, AeroVironment business development director, told Janes on 11 October at AUSA that the Jump 20 features a modular payload bay that is accessible from the starboard and port sides of the aircraft. This allows maintainers access to line replaceable units (LRUs), such as radios or power supplies, so that they can replace them in the field instead of having to elevate the aircraft to higher levels of maintenance.

The Jump 20, along with the L3Harris FVR-90, the Shield AI-Northrop Grumman Technology Services V-Bat, and the Textron Systems Aerosonde Hybrid Quadrotor, participated in the US Army's Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) rodeo in early 2021. Ken Karklin, AeroVironment senior vice-president and chief operating officer, on 11 October declined to elaborate when


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/amid-funding-challenges-indonesia-eyes-a400m-for-aerial-tanker-requirements

Indonesia has revisited plans to procure a fleet of Airbus A400M aircraft to enhance its military ai...

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