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TNI-AU plans to deploy two new UAV squadrons

An Anka MALE UAV equipped with sensors and weapons at IDEX 2023, Abu Dhabi. This UAV was armed with MAM-L munitions and a ŞİMŞEK aerial target on the port hardpoint (not visible in this photograph). (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

The Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU) has announced that it will add two additional unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadrons to its operational forces.

State-owned media said on 29 February that the two new units will be deployed at Anang Busra Air Base in Tarakan in North Kalimantan and at Abdul Rachman Saleh Air Base at Malang in East Java.

The new squadrons will be equipped with Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) Anka (Phoenix) medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs, according to First Marshal R Agung Sasongkojati, head of the TNI-AU's Information Service (Kadispenau).

“Currently, we already have [UAV] squadrons, namely Squadron 51 in Pontianak and Squadron 52 in Natuna. We will add two more squadrons, namely 53 in Tarakan and 54 in Abdul Rachman Saleh [Air Base] in Malang,” said First Marshal Sasongkojati.

Janes reported earlier that the Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) had signed a USD300 million contract with TUSAŞ for 12 Ankas in February 2023, but the contract was in the process of being activated. Indonesian state-owned media has now said that this contract includes “several training programmes, technology transfer, and support for integrated logistics support (ILS), Ground Support and Test Equipment (GSTE)”.

In addition, “flight simulators, hangar infrastructure, and a warranty period of 24 months or 600 flight hours”, are also included, according to state-owned media.

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