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Indonesia has received deliveries of new military planes it ordered from South Korea and Germany to improve its air forces fleet that is in dire need of modernization as most of aircrafts serving the fleet already decommissioned after to long service periods.
The Indonesian air forces saw the delivery of two T 50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced trainer planes from South Korea that landed in Iswahyudi air forces base located in Madiun, East Java province on Wednesday this week.
Indonesian air forces planned to use one squadron of T 50 Golden Eagle that consists of 16 planes, replacing the obsolete Hawk Mk 53 and A4 Skyhawk planes that would be decommissioned in the near future.
The complete delivery of T 50 Golden Eagle trainer plane that can be transformed into anti insurgency planes is expected by the end of the year. T 50 Golden Eagle multi role light fighter jet plane is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers.
Development of the plane began in the late 1990s, and its maiden flight occurred in 2002. The aircraft entered active service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) in 2005.
“The T 50 plane is very advanced. We can say that it could be the little brother to the F 16 fighter jet,” Rear Marshall Agus Supriatna, operation commander of Indonesian air forces, said as quoted by local media when he witnessed the delivery of the fighter jet.
Meanwhile, earlier last month, Indonesian air forces also received the delivery of four Grob G 120 TP-A trainer planes from Germany. After being assembled in Adisutjipto air base in Indonesia’s province of Yogyakarta, those planes undergone test flights that ended well.
The propeller trainer plane uses Rolls Royce 250-B17F turboprop engine that makes it capable to fly at a speed of 439 kilometers per hour, or 237 knots.
Major Sus Handi Londong, the spokesman of Adisuthipto air forces base said that those planes were manufactured in Grob Aircraft plant, located in Tussenhausen Mattsies, Germany.
“Procurement of the plane was resulted from the agreement between Indonesia and Germany governments. Indonesia ordered a total of 16 of the plane with deliveries expected to complete by 2014,” he said on the sidelines of display session of those plane to Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro on Friday.
He added those new trainer planes are projected to replace AS 202 Bravo which have served tens of years in the air forces training fleet.
Grob G120 TP-A brushed its competitors that consisted of Finmeccanica SF-260TP planes, produced by Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi and Pacific Aerospace’s CT-4 planes from New Zealand to get the procurement contract from Indonesia.
Besides those planes, Indonesian air forces is now expecting further deliveries of Sukhoi Su 30 Flanker jets from Russia. Indonesia planned to operate one squadron of the plane to improve the air superiority of its air forces fleet.
It also expects delivery of 24 F-16 used fighter jet planes that was provided by the U.S. government as a grant to Indonesia. The air forces also expects delivery of four C130 Hercules military cargo planes granted by Australian government.
Indonesia had signed procurement agreement on AH-64 Apache helicopters with U.S. government last month. Indonesia planned to procure 8 units of the plane for its army. Indonesian Defense Deputy Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin said that the government has allocated 600 million U.S. dollars regarding plans to procure AH- 64 Apache helicopters.