Indonesian Aero News

Ananda

Well-Known Member
When I look local media or forums on KFX project, sometimes I'm smiling by myself. Throughout this thread, I always said in my post that don't forgot Indonesia only a junior partner. Thus as Junior Partner, our access to KFX tech will always depend on what ROK as senior partner willing to give or open the access.

I've told from beginning that Jokowi's administration Political support for KFX was and still is not as big as SBY administration. Whether due to the project involvement is SBY's initiative or because they feel they can get better deal from ROK or some other manufacturer as alternative.

In such as Junior Partner our access to KFX is not much different with if we goes to other Manufacturer and got license manufacturing, just like SAAB gives Embrear license manufacturing of Gripen NG.

Now, the Indonesian supporter of KFX will going to say, well it's different then license manufacturing as we are involved in development and we got part of IP ownership.
That's what I'm sometimes laughed ...Our involvement even on part IP ownership..is just as Junior Partner..it's meaningless as the main IP/license ownership still with ROK and they can 'veto' us out in any deal related to KFX without their permission.

In that sense KFX not much different as us get license manufacturing from ROK/KAI.
It's not much different then the International Partners in JSF/F-35. Those International Partners involved in design of JSF project, but under access from US/LM as the main ownership. US can throw any of International Partners in F-35, as they already shown with Turkey that already International Partner from beginning.
So does ROK, they can throw Indonesia as Partner on KFX if they want. They're not doing it simply because they want to maintain relationship with Indonesia and hoping Indonesia become market for KFX.

Thus KFX is not the only essential step for Indonesia to gain experience in Fighter development. DI can get similar experience, if say Airbus provide license manufacturing to DI on Eurofighters as example (or other manufacturer of Fighters that willing to provide license to DI).

What DI really got from this KFX ? If what some bits of info that come out to media is true, that DI engineers only involvement in Airframes while their access to Avionics, sensors and Weapons integration tech are much restricted by KAI, then basically DI didn't get much.

Modern Fighter tech are most valuable in Sensors, Avionics, and Weapons integration. Not in Airframes. Any aircraft Manufacturer already have those capabilities, but DI didn't have experience on Fighters Tech. Thus if they don't get or restricted the access on that area by KAI, then again they don't get enough added value experience on Fighter manufacturing.

If some other manufacturer can be Airbus (as they already offer since 2015) or LM want to give license to DI but also provide access to DI on Avionics, Sensors including software access and weapons integration know how..that kind of deal in my opinion is more valuable compare to DI involvement with KFX (under current condition and access).

In such, if Indonesia/DI can't get more tech access on those essential area, then better find other manufacturer that want to give access and tech know how to DI on that area.
This if the administration want to give access and experience development to DI on Fighter manufacturing.

KFX is not and never become Indonesia/DI project. It's ROK/KAI owned and always be. KFX is not CN-235 where Casa and IPTN/DI is co owner (due to 50:50 ownership) and both have similar ownership rights. We can call CN-235 as Indonesian aircraft, but we will never can call KFX or even IFX as Indonesian Fighter.

This is what Indonesian must understand, and not just some sugar coating from Politicians or Politically motivated media.
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Well said.
Of course IPTN engineers got some jetfighter design experience with the KFX project. But if EADS can offer a great EF2000 + A330MRTT package, with a lot of ToT and workshare, combined with the fact that the current administration dislike the KFX project from the beginning, then the most logic step is pulling back from the KFX project.
After all, like you said, something need to be sacrificed, the F-16V or the KFX.
Who knows, after licence building the EF2000, we can maybe participate in developing the nEUROn as junior-partner.
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member
The truth is, whether we going with Flankers, Eurofighters, Rafale, F-16V or KFX..it doesn't matter if we don't able to create the best combination that can provide integrated systems with other defense assets.

Because that's basically modern and future Defense assets, whether it's in Land, Air or Water, the Armed Forces that can make all those assets work as one coherent systems will be the one who has best chance to win.

This is what US already shown, this is what China trying to do, this is what TNI need to be done.
I think TNI understand that, but again the political parasites that surround Indonesia Procurement process in Parliament and Administration are the ones that create drama and confusion within Public.

Few days ago I read an analyst that being considered as defense expert in Indonesia, blasting EF procurement plan and told in local media, that MinDef should stick with Su-35 as it can use current Flankers supporting infrastructure and can communicate with our existing Flankers.

Well this's what the example of half truth that being presented to public and can create misinformation from media. Yes it can talk with current Flankers, but can it create system Integration with our F-16, Hawk 200, or Western made Radar and sensors ? Can it create Integration with TNI-AL and TNI-AD systems that also mostly Western made ?

OPSSG already put example on how the difficulty that Indian face on integrating Western system with Russian system in MKI since Russia did not want to share their source code. This is India which has IT and Software industry that significantly above what Indonesia has.

That's why I said that under current co-op with ROK on KFX, if we don't get access on KFX software development, then it's not really helping DI to have experience and expertise for Fighter development.

I like to see what this broad base defense development with Ukraine will bring. Can it bring us on the path on developing our own avionics and software capabilities ? Ukraine used to support Russia on that, can we gain something also ?

Again, whoever partner that our defense industry and MinDef will choose, whether on equipment, defense assets, electronics, sensors, etc..it has to give Indonesia abilities to integrate all of them in one coherent systems.

If not, then it will end up just another pretty, shining, expensive toys that doesn't do much on modern battlefield..just like those expensive toys that the rich Middle East put in their inventory.

I have suspicion that left it alone, Iran with it's relatively outdated tech assets, will still win against those rich gulf kingdoms, because they simply creating their own system Integration while it's Rich kingdoms neighbor buy shiny toys but depends on the others to integrate them.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
@Ananda

1. From my point of view, in the 2025 to 2035 time period, the ideal force structure of a mid-sized airforce, like the TNI AU, with 37,850 airmen, should have:

(i) 2 air-to-air tankers;​
(ii) 7 squadrons of multi-role fighters (MRFs); and​
(iii) 3 to 4 squadrons LCAs, like the the KAI T-50s and Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos for low end counter insurgency taskings.​

2. By way of comparison, the RSAF, as a small sized air force of a tiny country, with only 14,800 airmen, can only afford to maintain 6 A330MRTTs, 5 squadrons of MRFs (with 60 F-16Vs and 40 F-15SGs) and a small detachment of Alenia Aermacchi M-346s, in service in 2025.

5. Being realistic, not all 7 of the TNI AU’s MRF squadrons need to be modern top of the line fighters; and 4 of these can be legacy aircraft like the block 50/52 F-16s or the Su-30/27s. But until the TNI AU acquires the first of 36 to 48 modern F-16Vs or 40 Tranche 4 Eurofighters (and I don’t care which platform your government chooses), Indonesia will not be seen by China as having a fleet of modern platforms.

4. Building and retaining this modern fighting core of 3 TNI AU squadrons, for BVR air-to-air combat needs consistent investments in modernising platform avionics, jammer pods and missiles.

5. Without this foundation, TNI AU’s fighter fleet will be great for air shows but not for fighting. An Airshow centric airforce can’t fight and will not even get to the merge with the PLA(N)— with the Malaysians as a prime example of a country with an Airshow centric airforce, by making a string of poor choices, over the last few decades.
 
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Ananda

Well-Known Member
1. From my point of view, in the 2025 to 2035 time period, the ideal force structure of a mid-sized airforce, like the TNI AU, with 37,850 airmen, should have:

(i) 2 air-to-air tankers;​

(ii) 7 squadrons of multi-role fighters (MRFs); and​

(iii) 3 to 4 squadrons LCAs, like the the KAI T-50s and Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos for low end counter insurgency taskings.​
Agree on that @OPSSG, and I believe that's what TNI-AU plan. They already talk in Media several years ago, I've posted in this thread before how the envision 10-11 sq from current 8 sq. They already now they need AEW, they need Tankers and they need other specialise Aircraft for ELINT, and support infrastructure for COMINT, SIGINT, and other electronics warfare capabilities that they are still fall behind.

Seems this talk on F-16V, Rafale, Eurofighters or even Flankers reflect the need to move on that vision. The French already talk in Media on Indonesian interest for 48 Rafale. LM already talk of Indonesian interest for 32 F-16V..Thus eventough it will take multi years budget, they already have vision on to go there.

My worries in Indonesia is always toward those Politicall parasites that going to side line for their own bits of projects.
The need for TNI to build integrated network is already sink in on them. How to implement that I'm still worried.

TNI even talk to media that in Asean TNI already fall behind on Network Centric development. Let alone Singapore, even with Thailand TNI already fall behind.
They already have initiatives and begin to move on that purpose. However some of those Politicians and analyst still thinking on how to 'goal' their pet projects and not the big picture.

This talk on Su-35 for example, again I don't have much against Flankers, as long as Russian willing to open their system so that TNI can integrate them toward other mostly Western system in their Inventory. Also those Su-35 supporters seems pointing on ToT, need on system Integration on Su-35 competitors but directly neglect and avoiding the fact that Russian deals so far lack of ToT itself and their assets hard to do open network due to Russian closing in their source code.
This political and media PR half truth and half distraction is what I'm worried to side line TNI development.

That's also on which whatever Fighters or Sensors or any other systems that they are going to acquired or even locally build. Getting source code open is very difficult bargaining toward any suppliers. Thus, that's what TNI and MinDef need to achieve.

I'm supporting this EF deal 'only' if Airbus did come through on their 2015 offer which includes DI access to their system and software.
The current MLU for TNI's F-16 include the capabilities on link 16 to enable those upgrade F-16 yo talk with other mostly Western Radar and air defense sensors system in TNI. Thus whether with Rafale, or EF then TNI and DI or LEN as system integrators must able to connect all of them in one network.

Without that, then what TNI have will be patches of different system that work alone and hard to coordinate.
 
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ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Maybe already discussed but I really don’t see the point of Tranche 1 Typhoons for Indonesia, they may very well be cheap, but they are old, non-upgradeable and really only provide basic air to air capability.

That’s why everyone is offloading the Tranche 1’s or relegating them to support roles at best...
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member
Yes, if the overall deal only for those 15 Austrian Blk 1, and yes it doesn't make sense. In fact those who critisize Prabowo's, up in arms condemning this potential deal as wasting resources.

However this then open the speculations on what actually Indonesian MinDef up to. Airbus offer in 2015 (as I've posted in previous page), were being lobbied by German and Spain. Spain is the only Blk 1 users that going to modified them to Blk 2.
Also Austrian Blk 1 has much lower flight hours then other Blk 1 in RAF or Luftwaffe inventory.

So until now it's not clear on what really behind the MinDef inquiry for those ex Austrian Blk 1. However Prabowo's knows well that he need to include DI/IAe on Tech Transfer and Work Shares deal. Thus why speculations on Airbus deals to upgrade those ex Austrian Blk 1 in similar fashion with Spain Blk 1 upgrade.

Again all this is just speculations as whether Su-35 or Eurofighter or Rafale or F-16V all still under consideration and basically still have equal chances. One thing for sure, the previous contract for a Sq of Su-35 that being signed by previous Minister of Defense now under review. Thus why all other manufacturer being approach and renegotiate by MinDef.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Maybe already discussed but I really don’t see the point of Tranche 1 Typhoons for Indonesia, they may very well be cheap, but they are old, non-upgradeable and really only provide basic air to air capability.

That’s why everyone is offloading the Tranche 1’s or relegating them to support roles at best...
They don't provide only a basic air to air capability. That was true of the first Tranche 1 aircraft when they achieved IOC (in other recent news, the F-15 has "not a pound for air to ground"), but Tranche 1 Block 5 (2007) included full air-air capability & air to ground with unguided weapons & a limited range of PGMs. T1 Typhoons attacked ground targets in Libya in 2011 with PGMs. Do keep up.

Earlier Typhoons were upgraded to that standard, & every Tranche 1 aircraft built is suitable for it. Integration of additional weapons is possible.

Of course they're upgradeable. They've not been upgraded to the same standards as later aircraft because it'd be expensive & it's not deemed cost-effective. And I know that means it'd also not be cost-effective for a country buying them second hand, but other upgrades are practical & affordable. Spain is upgrading its T1s, including some T2 & T3 hardware, & plans to keep them in service until about 2040, & upgrades specific to a secondhand user's fleet (which could include 30+ German T1s when project Quadriga replaces them) might be worthwhile.

The UK decided to keep two squadrons of Tranche 1s in service. They're tasked with QRA. Air defence of the UK isn't really a support role, is it? Two out of four Eurofighter partners are keeping T1 in front line service.

Note that this is not an argument for Indonesia buying a semi-orphan fleet of 15 used Typhoons from Austria. IMO that could only make sense as part of a larger buy combined with an upgrade programme. It is merely to correct errors in the post it's a reply to.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
I just read this article...

"The Indonesian Air Force currently deploys Su-27 and Su-30 fighters which make up the backbone of the country’s fleet"

Totally ignoring the existence of SkU 1, 3, 12 and 16.

"Other than a very small sale of jets to Austria, the fighters have failed to gain any contracts for export outside the Persian Gulf region, in which political ties between oil rich Arab states and Britain in particular are thought to have played a major role. Even in the Gulf however, corruption scandals have surrounded Eurofighter purchases."

Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia...are these countries all bribed?
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
They don't provide only a basic air to air capability. That was true of the first Tranche 1 aircraft when they achieved IOC (in other recent news, the F-15 has "not a pound for air to ground"), but Tranche 1 Block 5 (2007) included full air-air capability & air to ground with unguided weapons & a limited range of PGMs. T1 Typhoons attacked ground targets in Libya in 2011 with PGMs. Do keep up.

Earlier Typhoons were upgraded to that standard, & every Tranche 1 aircraft built is suitable for it. Integration of additional weapons is possible.

Of course they're upgradeable. They've not been upgraded to the same standards as later aircraft because it'd be expensive & it's not deemed cost-effective. And I know that means it'd also not be cost-effective for a country buying them second hand, but other upgrades are practical & affordable. Spain is upgrading its T1s, including some T2 & T3 hardware, & plans to keep them in service until aboute 2040, & upgrades specific to a secondhand user's fleet (which could include 30+ German T1s when project Quadriga replaces them) might be worthwhile.

The UK decided to keep two squadrons of Tranche 1s in service. They're tasked with QRA. Air defence of the UK isn't really a support role, is it? Two out of four Eurofighter partners are keeping T1 in front line service.
Did the Austrian ones do any of this? RAF ones are hardly relevant, are they? They underwent a range of upgrades that the Austrian ones didn’t before they could use the single PGM type they were ever integrated with - a Paveway series II weapon... But the crucial point here, is that the TNI-AU aren’t looking to purchase RAF Tiffies, are they? And in context of the roles assigned to RAF Tranche 2 etc, a limited air defence role assigned to 2 squadrons only is a support role. Making out these Tranche 1’s are responsible for the entire air defence of the UK is laughable. They aren’t. They are ‘supporting’ the 5 (I believe) squadrons of Tranche 2 etc that actually comprise the UK’s main air defence capability.

So do try to reply on point...
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
They don't provide only a basic air to air capability. That was true of the first Tranche 1 aircraft when they achieved IOC (in other recent news, the F-15 has "not a pound for air to ground"), but Tranche 1 Block 5 (2007) included full air-air capability & air to ground with unguided weapons & a limited range of PGMs. T1 Typhoons attacked ground targets in Libya in 2011 with PGMs. Do keep up.

Earlier Typhoons were upgraded to that standard, & every Tranche 1 aircraft built is suitable for it. Integration of additional weapons is possible.

Of course they're upgradeable. They've not been upgraded to the same standards as later aircraft because it'd be expensive & it's not deemed cost-effective. And I know that means it'd also not be cost-effective for a country buying them second hand, but other upgrades are practical & affordable. Spain is upgrading its T1s, including some T2 & T3 hardware, & plans to keep them in service until aboute 2040, & upgrades specific to a secondhand user's fleet (which could include 30+ German T1s when project Quadriga replaces them) might be worthwhile.

The UK decided to keep two squadrons of Tranche 1s in service. They're tasked with QRA. Air defence of the UK isn't really a support role, is it? Two out of four Eurofighter partners are keeping T1 in front line service.
Yes, Eurofighter Typhoon | Austrian Eurofighters equipped with latest capability standard for Tranche 1 aircraft

From which i understand, the Tranch 1 aircrafts from Austria were second hands from Germany. I dont know how many flighthours they got in de Luftwaffe, but at least not much in Austria.

In July 2017, the Austria Defense Ministry announced that it would be replacing all its Typhoon aircraft by 2020. The ministry said continued use of its Typhoons over their 30-year life span would cost about €5 billion with the bulk being for maintenance. By comparison it is estimated that buying and operating a new fleet of 15 single-seat and three twin-seat fighters would save €2 billion over that period.

So only buying these 15 third hands Tranch 1s does not make sense, unless its a part of a larger and more complete package which includes brandnew Tranch 3 aircrafts, ToT and workshare.
 
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Ananda

Well-Known Member
Eurofighter GmbH announces that Austria’s Eurofighter Typhoons “now have the latest capability standard for Tranche 1 aircraft,” but it isn’t clear what that means.

The Typhoon’s Phase 1 Enhancements include full integration of the LITENING III surveillance & targeting pod, the ability to use dual-mode GPS/laser guided smart bombs, IFF mode 5, and the ability to use the HMSS helmet-mounted display for ground attack. On the other hand, it won’t be ready for customers before the end of 2013, and and requires Tranche 2 fighters. Austria is already done with their upgrade. Eurofighter gave meaningless details, which amount to “some new hardware and software were installed.” Sources: Eurofighter GmbH, “Austrian Eurofighters equipped with latest capability standard for Tranche 1 aircraft” and “Increased operational capabilities for Eurofighter Typhoon”
That's the quote from defense industry daily sites. Basically Airbus enhancement to Austrian Blk 1 Aircraft is still vague, and it's doubtful the enhancement already made them as Multi-role Fighters or still within limitations on Air to Air capabilities. Honestly I'm bit confused, but seems they're need another enhancement toward Blk2 standard to have Multi-role capabilities

So yeah.. unless Indonesian MinDef has another separate deal with Airbus to upgrade them to Blk2 as Spain do, then the deal it's not worth it.

The question how much all with upgrade going to cost. If the cost to acquired those 15 Eurofighters plus upgrade package and doing it in DI facilities with Airbus supervision, same with Su-35 budget, then perhaps MinDef can sell it to the administration and Parliament.

If the administration standing is to enhance local defense industry, then that kind of deal might be more attractive compared to Su-35 deal that the Russian only agree on trade deal but not with Tech Transfer.
If not, then it will be difficult to sell.

@Sandhi Yudha , not all ex Luftwaffe. Seems 9 brand new and 6 ex Luftwaffe. However Austrian got 6 ex Luftwaffe that not being used much and still relative new when Transfer to Austria. Thus I'm pretty sure, most of them still relative has low hours considering Austrian did not used them much.
 
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swerve

Super Moderator
Did the Austrian ones do any of this? RAF ones are hardly relevant, are they? They underwent a range of upgrades that the Austrian ones didn’t before they could use the single PGM type they were ever integrated with - a Paveway series II weapon... But the crucial point here, is that the TNI-AU aren’t looking to purchase RAF Tiffies, are they? And in context of the roles assigned to RAF Tranche 2 etc, a limited air defence role assigned to 2 squadrons only is a support role. Making out these Tranche 1’s are responsible for the entire air defence of the UK is laughable. They aren’t. They are ‘supporting’ the 5 (I believe) squadrons of Tranche 2 etc that actually comprise the UK’s main air defence capability.

So do try to reply on point...
Who said "the entire air defence of the UK"? Do try to reply on point.

And you're wrong. It wasn't one PGM. Not a lot more, but still, do try to reply on point.

Of course the RAF T1s are relevant. You claimed that T1s are not upgradeable, & have only a basic air defence capability & nothing more. I pointed out that both those claims are wrong, & gave an example of a capability used in combat by the RAF that proves it.

BTW, I think you have the entire RAF front line Typhoon force dedicated to the air defence of the UK.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
I just read this article...

"The Indonesian Air Force currently deploys Su-27 and Su-30 fighters which make up the backbone of the country’s fleet"
1. You are correct the article is factually untrue — the guy who wrote it is on Russian payroll. The TNI AU is understood to operate about 33 to 34 F-16s. Therefore the backbone of the TNI AU is its F-16 fleet that consist of:
(a) 24 F-16C/Ds transferred in 2017 from the USAF under a US$670 million refurbishment and upgrade programme; and​
(b) 9 to 10 F-16A/Bs being put under the Falcon STAR eMLU, where Indonesian engineers from the TNI AU and Indonesia’s state-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) installed improved avionics and weapon systems as well as structural reinforcements under the supervision of Lockheed Martin.​

2. According to the TNI-AU, the upgraded F-16A/Bs could potentially offer another 8,000 flight hours of operation thanks to work done locally by PTDI. The F-16 fleet are powered by technologically superior Pratt & Whitney F100 engines that require less maintenance and last 3 times as long as Russian jet engines. On average any competent Air Force should be able to get its F-16 fleet availability numbers above 85%. It is the F-16 fleet that forms the backbone of the TNI AU.

3. Given the small fleet size, poor availability and the mishmash of Su-27/30s in TNI AU service — these must be seen as lemons — the norm for Su-30MKI and Su-30MKK fleets in Indian and Malaysian service are around 50% to 55% (but these numbers are never confirmed and can be lower).
  • It is a known issue that Russian after sales support is so poor that no competent air force likes to deal with these known issues. This is why the Indians and Malaysians have made their preference known for Western aircraft — the bad thing about working with Russians is their known unwillingness and inability to integrate 3rd party EW systems on their aircraft (because of their preference to sell Russian EW gear).
  • Recommendations to buy more lemons like the Su-35 is illogical and may be motivated by corruption. The Russians have been known to bribe their way to aircraft sales to Angola or Nigeria.
  • India bought 40 Su-30 planes in 1996. 18 of these (8 Su-30Ks and 10 Su-30MKs) were then shipped back to Russia under a trade-in scheme. India replaced these with more advanced Su-30MKIs. In Oct 2019, it was reported that Russia offered these jets to African nations. Angola agreed to buy 12 of these second hand Sukhoi fighters for an estimated US$1 billion in 2013. The fighters were reportedly upgraded to the “SM” standard in Belarus' 558th Aircraft Repair Plant, which was the principal contractor to perform repair works of Su-27s (from which the Su-30 was derived) during the Soviet period. Rosoboronexport is currently looking for a buyer for the remaining six planes.
4. With the above known issues, the 16 strong Su-27/30 fleet is not the backbone of the TNI AU. The mixed fleet of Russian aircraft, as follows, is a known nightmare for Indonesia to support:
  • 5 x Su-27SK/Su-27SKM
  • 2 x Su-30MK
  • 9 x Su-30MK2
Totally ignoring the existence of SkU 1, 3, 12 and 16.
5. The disadvantage of the TNI AU viz a viz the Australians and the Singaporeans is at a systems level not at platform level. For instance, an F-15SG relying on its Link 16 data-link could use the G550AEW’s radar picture to intercept an enemy fighter (without having to turn on its own radar). Once in range of its Tiger Eyes IRST, the F-15SG can then kill the enemy on its own. Basically, third-party sources are supplying the F-15SG with the 'situational awareness' and once it is looking in the right direction, and in range, it can use its IRST to enhance its targeting fidelity without giving away its own position. IMHO, at a platform level, relying on the Eurofighter Typhoon gives the TNI AU a superb platform that can out sprint the Australian Super Hornets (due to higher thrust to weight ratio) and out turn the Singaporean F-15SG.

6. The Indonesian Air Force is at a huge qualitative disadvantage against most Chinese naval fighters because the Chinese make better fighters than the Russians, as they have access to Russian designs and have improved it.
"Other than a very small sale of jets to Austria, the fighters have failed to gain any contracts for export outside the Persian Gulf region, in which political ties between oil rich Arab states and Britain in particular are thought to have played a major role. Even in the Gulf however, corruption scandals have surrounded Eurofighter purchases."
7. Fighter design is really determined by parent air force requirements. The European design is influenced by NATO requirements to be superior in the air viz a viz Russian Su-27 aircraft design and the Europeans have a design that remains superior as a platform against the Su-35.
(a) Any allegation of corruption is a local issue and does not change the design criteria. The fact the Italians and British are keeping their Eurofighter Typhoons and operating them alongside their F-35Bs should give you an idea how well regarded its reduced frontal RCS, turn rate and acceleration is within NATO. The issue with this proposed purchase is cost of support for avionics improvements and not platform performance.​
(b) Kuwait signed a US$9 billion contract covering 28 aircraft in April 2016. The deal covered 22 single-seat and six dual-seat models built to the current Tranche 3 standard. Kuwait is also the launch customer for the new Captor-E AESA radar.​
(c) Qatar’s purchase of 24 Eurofighter Typhoons is driven by the need to train and get their fighter pilot pipeline UP AND RUNNING quickly (just in case its fighters end up shooting at fighters from UAE and Saudi Arabia). The small Persian Gulf nation has already ordered 36 F-15QAs and 24 Dassault Rafale fighters. Adding yet a third type of high-end fighter makes little military sense because of the increased cost and complexity of sustainment and training, but these aircraft are bought to also advance a diplomatic agenda.​
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia...are these countries all bribed?
8. I agree with your point and would like to add that the purchases of Middle East buyers have funded improvements to the F-15QA and Typhoon platforms. A joint UK-Qatar Eurofighter Typhoon unit has conducted its first flights, in June 2020 and Qatar's Eurofighter Typhoons to be delivered by 2022 are the most advanced of the type in the world. Even Qatar’s Rafales differ in detail from those delivered to France and Egypt, and incorporate a Lockheed Martin Sniper laser designator pod. They bought the high end of everything and paid the integration costs.
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Countries like Qatar...they are so lucky to be so rich, just look what an exotic collection of brandnew and advanced jetfighters they have. Even Egypt (not really known as a rich country like the Gulfstates) has an awesome collection.

Anyway, these Sukhois were originally delivered to Indonesia:
- 2 Su-27SK
- 3 Su-27SKM
- 2 Su-30MK
- 9 Su-30MK2
But if im not wrong the 27SK are upgraded to SKM and the 30MK are upgraded to 30MK2. I dont know if all are already upgraded, but maybe Ananda can correct me. I also have no idea about the availability percentage of the aircrafts of TNI-AU.

TNI-AU has indeed around 33 F-16s (shortly after the 24 second hands F-16C/D Block 25 were delivered, one F-16C spontaneously combust itself.

About the Hawks, 8 Mk109 and 32 Mk209 are delivered and at least 3 Hawk Mk109 are crashed, but i dont know how many Mk209.
 

Toptob

Active Member
If those Typhoons where so cheap the Austrians wouldn't be selling them, because the main reason for that purchase was them being cheap. The reason why they haven't put that many hours on them (despite it being a small fleet) is probably because they're stingy and the planes aren't as cheap to operate as they where made to believe. So the TNI-AU buying them as a low budget option seems strange.

But the fact that they need new aircraft remains. And their current orbat is as confusing as it is toothless. Years ago when they where first acquiring the Flankers I thought that it was a good choice, and at the surface it was. The Flanker offers robust capabilities at long range for (what seems) a reasonable price. At least that's what the label says. But back then I thought that they could build up a nice fleet despite budgetary and political issues as long as they kept buying small batches over a longer period.

But that's not what happened and it's not what they ended up with. As Sandhi illustrates above their paltry fleet of 16 Flankers is actually made up of 4 different types, which is a nightmare for maintainers. And all this is only be exacerbated by the planes poor maintainability and the Russians notoriously bad after sales support! And now they're talking about Su-35's?

As for the F-16's... well maybe I'm biased but everything about them just looks like a bad idea right now. @OPSSG very kindly informed me above that the old F-16A's are going through an MLU which supposedly is going to increase their flight hours by 8000 (making them as good as new). But how relevant will this MLU be, and will it be worth the money? When most F-16A/B MLU's are being replaced having reached the end of their life while quickly becoming obsolete.

Excuse me for not knowing the fine details, but how much will those aircraft be upgraded to keep them relevant? As far as I know an F-16A is almost a completely different aircraft from an F-16C, and I don't know of any A's upgraded to anything near the capability of a C. So if I'm correct in thinking that they're different you still end up with two different aircraft within the F-16 fleet. And with the proposed purchase of F-16V you get yet another different type with all the problems that brings with it. So does it really make sense to do a MLU decades late on aircraft that have to be getting very long in the tooth at this time? Is this just a case of the TNI-AU having to be happy with anything they can actually get their hands on?


In the long run many of the serious issues @OPSSG and others so thoughtfully lay out in the discussion above, can in some way be resolved by working on one core problem. The need for long term organizational cohesion. As @Ananda mentioned, the TNI-AU has been without a long term vision since the fall of the Suharto regime. And the organization seems divided with different factions being beholden to different political benefactors in a typical banana'esque republic chaos that leaves it poorly managed and unfit for purpose.

The main thing now is to get all the noses in the TNI-AU or even the TNI as a whole (yeah right!) pointing in the same direction. And put a stop to this political rent-seeking! When it's members start acting in the interest of the TNI-AU to fulfill the tasks it has been entrusted with, they can start to present a well argued long term plan that can survive and be implemented across successive political and military administrations. Below are some of my thoughts on such planning;

--------------See next post-------------------
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Alright, we will wait for your next post...

The Su-27/30 and F-16A/B/C/D are not completely different aircraft types, but versions, all based on the initial original design, but with improvements. Some (or all?) Sukhois of the first batch are upgraded to the level of the aircraft delivered in the 2nd and 3rd batch.

In the '90s the USA and European Partner Air Forces/European Participating Forces started a extensive modernization program for the EPAF's F-16A/Bs. These F-16s were Block 5, 10, 15 and 15OCUs. This program upgraded them completely to F-16C/D Block 52 level.

But i dont know how complete the MLU for TNI-AU's F-16A/B will be. After all the 24 second hand F-16C/Ds were also not completely upgraded to Block 52, from which i understand the Block 25's original AN/APG-68(V) was not upgraded to AN/APG-68(V)5. So Indonesia's Block 52ID is actually a Block 52-.

Probably TNI-AU's Enhanced Mid-Life Update (EMLU)– Falcon Structural Augmentation Rodmap (Falcon STAR) is more extensive than EPAF's MLU from the nineties. Anyway the Falcon Star - EMLU upgrade program include new avionics, new armament capability, compatibility with targeting pods and the aircraft airframe lifetime will be extended TO 8000 flying hours (so not resetted to zero with 8000 hours to come).
 
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Toptob

Active Member
Post 2:

1. Involvement of local industry, transfer of technology and local assembly and maintenance are all the rage these days. And for good reasons! Politicians can make hay providing local jobs and get some kind of cover claiming that tax money spent on (the ever unpopular) defense will flow back into the economy. While local companies get to invest in new technology and capabilities, providing high tech jobs and opportunities. And the forces get to reduce time for maintenance and keep their assets closer, doing business with partners they have more influence over and reducing reliance on foreign partners and suppliers. Eventually you could work towards doing more and more yourself, a good example of this is South Korea.

But as with everything, there are related costs. And while the current regime in Indonesia seems keen on involving local industry, as illustrated by the discussion above, I have not seen any plans presented that warrant the investment needed. I know that the aviation industry has long been the jewel in the crown of Indonesian modernity but it doesn't have the depth of the Israeli or Korean aerospace industries. And even a country with a large internal market like India can't seem to produce fighters at the rate or quality it needs despite HAL building aircraft for decades. And the Indonesian industry is more like India's than Korea's, with a lot of state owned industry. So I question to what extent the local defense industry could actually be involved in a state of the art project. At the very least I think it would require a lot of investment... which is all the more reason to do it right!

While difficult, it's not impossible. And I do feel that Indonesia should be able to get it's aerospace industry up to speed. But to do this something is needed that is sorely missing in all the "proposals" I have read about so far, and that brings me to my second point.

2. Numbers! Numbers are important, as Stalin said "quantity has a quality all of it's own". And while I don't advocate running a Soviet style military, Indonesia is a country with a population that is pushing 300 million covering millions of square miles of water and islands. Including some of the most difficult terrain on Earth. With that in mind the TNI-AU looks like a feeble force that is completely unfit for purpose, unable to present believable air defense along most of it's borders. So what they need is a lot of planes and the ability to keep them in the air with all that entails. This need closely aligns with an important prerequisite to make point 1 work!

If you want to pick the real fruits that come with involving local industry, numbers are important! I see a lot about Eurofighters, Rafales and F-16's but it's never in numbers where I would say that it could provide a significant and sustainable boost to said industry to make it worth the price. Monetarily this is one thing, but the political hurdle this puts in place is hardly worth it for a few dozen planes. If a local producer needs to invest in a production capability, hire and train personnel, it's no good they get stuck with all that after a few years of production and nothing for it to do. Transfer of technology is expensive, and you need long term plans to support these investments.

What's also important is that buying more from one supplier makes you more dependent on that supplier. But it also makes you a more important client to that supplier. I'm sure a Lockheed, or Dassault would be more willing to share more technology when you buy more planes. And when you implement a long term plan you get all the benefits of growth of capacity and ability that such stability can bring.

3. A more cohesive TNI-AU and a return to the core reason of its existence (the defense of Indonesia's air) could give it the strength to get away from the shadow of it's political overlords and create an environment where they could actually implement plans that are needed to fulfill it's mission. If they say, we like having industry involved. But we do need at least 6 to 8 squadrons of front line fighters to present a credible defense and nothing of what's flying right fits the bill. So we need to produce 80 to 120 aircraft over the coming decade. That way we fill our needs and we can at the same time build a real high end aerospace industry that we can entrust future projects with. When that run is done they can start with an MLU so they have work in fighter aircraft for the coming decades. That way you can afford to train personnel and actually retain them in our own industry.

4. Now it's important to take a broader look in two different ways, politically and operationally. Operationally we know that no man is an island, and an air force does more than fly around in cool pointy things at the speed of sound. And as @OPSSG so systematically and thoroughly explains, the TNI-AU is deficient in much more areas than fighters alone. So while not as flashy as a fighter, they are also in need of transports, tankers, AEW and sigint platforms. If we then take a broader look at the problem from a political perspective the enterprise takes on importance not only internally, but seems like an important lever to position and direct Indonesia internationally.

Thus it is important to consider what buying from whom will mean in the international community. Russia, for instance has for decades been keen to sell all kinds of weaponry to whomever wants to pay for it. This is nice because it kept important parts of its industry in business and reduces prices for the Russians themselves. But Russia is interested in Russia, and they are not afraid to sell arms to long standing political adversaries. On the other hand Russia is not one to reach out and help in a time of crisis, nor do they carry as much clout as they like to think. But neither do the French or Germans for that matter, and of coarse Muhrica is the "daddy".

Look to Europe or the US? This is an interesting question with regards to point 1. Even though the US can sell you everything you want (for a price) they are more stringent when it comes to intellectual property and selling top of the line systems to third parties. While European defense firms are squeezed a lot at home and seem very willing to share in order to make money, while all you need to do to convince European politicians is tell them how important they are.


Finally, all this comes down to the same thing for the TNI-AU. Close ranks and oust the rats and rent seekers, work for the TNI and not for some political interest.
 

Toptob

Active Member
Alright, we will wait for your next post...

The Su-27/30 and F-16A/B/C/D are not completely different aircraft types, but versions, all based on the initial original design, but with improvements. Some (or all?) Sukhois of the first batch are upgraded to the level of the aircraft delivered in the 2nd and 3rd batch.

In the '90s the USA and European Partner Air Forces/European Participating Forces started a extensive modernization program for the EPAF's F-16A/Bs. These F-16s were Block 5, 10, 15 and 15OCUs. This program upgraded them completely to F-16C/D Block 52 level.

Probably TNI-AU's Enhanced Mid-Life Update (EMLU)– Falcon Structural Augmentation Rodmap (Falcon STAR) is more extensive than EPAF's MLU from the nineties. Anyway the Falcon Star - EMLU upgrade program include new avionics, new armament capability, compatibility with targeting pods and the aircraft airframe lifetime will be extended TO 8000 flying hours (so not resetted to zero with 8000 hours to come).
The different Flankers have many important differences and use different systems that don't carry over from one to another. Adding complexity and more parts to an aircraft that is already notoriously difficult to maintain. So while they may be similar, they are still operating 16 aircraft in 4 distinct variations which is just wasteful.

As for the difference between the F-16 A and C types... well it's big enough to warrant a new type indication. And you're wrong about the MLU, I know that the Dutch aircraft at least are not as capable as as block 52, and they weren't upgraded to the AN/APG-68. It is also well known that F-16C/D's are heavier and less maneuverable, at least that's what I've heard from pilot interviews.

As for the flight hours. It seemed strange to me that they could double the flight hours on airframes that are already pretty old. I know the Dutch F-16's had been more worn out than expected at the time of the MLU, and many aircraft where upgraded before they reached their original 5000 hrs. It just seemed like a lot is all :O
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
TNI AU’s interference with FIR and Prabowo’s Human Rights Record Problem

1. There is some uneasiness in Singaporean and American policy circles on Indonesia’s trajectory as a stats quo power. To understand this unease, you have to know that Singapore controls the airspace within a 110-nautical mile radius of the city-state. As a result, Singapore’s Flight Information Region (FIR) extends over Indonesian territory, including Batam, Natuna and Dumai in Riau. Given Singapore’s broad FIR, Indonesian elites in the past have tried to interfere with civilian fight operations, through the agency of the TNI AU. The word “sovereignty” gets tossed around a lot when discussing this issue. Sovereignty is understandably, a touchy issue. But the FIR isn’t about sovereignty. Singapore’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Anil Kumar Nayar, has had to rebut false claims by former Chief of Staff of Air Force Marshall (Ret) Chappy Hakim and Chairman of the Air Power Centre of Indonesia Air Vice Marshal (Ret) Koesnadi Kardi.

2. In October 2013, Indonesia conducted it's largest deployment of warplanes to Hang Nadim Airport in Batam during the Angkasa Yudha war games. It is noted that some Indonesian flights took off from Hang Nadim Airport to destination Natunas, while ignoring instructions from Changi air traffic control, whose job was to ensure safe flight separation between commercial traffic and Indonesian aircraft on exercise.
  • Airlines operating in the Singapore FIR, know that Indonesia has a reputation for excessively strict enforcement of permit rules.
  • On 14 Jan 2019, two Indonesian F-16s intercepted an Ethiopian Airlines cargo flight ETH3728 for flying across Indonesian airspace without permission. The Ethiopian Airlines aircraft was intercepted forced to land at WIDD/Batam Island – which lies right in the middle of the chunk of airspace controlled by Singapore.
  • On 28 Oct 2014, a C90GTi King Air owned by ST Aerospace and was operated by its pilot training subsidiary, Pacific Flight Services was intercepted by Indonesian fighter jets. It was flying from Sibu Airport in Sarawak to Seletar Airport in Singapore when it was intercepted by the Indonesian jets and ordered to land at the Supadio military airbase in Pontianak, Kalimantan. The TNI said the plane illegally flew into its airspace and the Singapore-registered plane was fined 60 million rupiah (S$6,300) before it was released.
  • On 30 Nov 2017, two former Indonesian military officials, former Chief of Staff of Air Force Marshall (Ret) Chappy Hakim and Chairman of the Air Power Centre of Indonesia Air Vice Marshal (Ret) Koesnadi Kardi, said:

    (Translated) “Logically speaking, in general large countries are obliged to help the smaller neighboring countries and not the other way around.

    The action that should be taken by Indonesia is to immediately formulate a roadmap in accordance with the Inpres dated September 8, 2015, that Singapore should immediately hand over air space management over the Riau Islands (Natuna and Batam) gradually to Indonesia as the owner of legitimate sovereignty.”
TNI-AU has indeed around 33 F-16s (shortly after the 24 second hands F-16C/D Block 25 were delivered, one F-16C spontaneously combust itself.

About the Hawks, 8 Mk109 and 32 Mk209 are delivered and at least 3 Hawk Mk109 are crashed, but i dont know how many Mk209.
3. Prior to the appointment of Prabowo Subianto as Defence Minister, the TNI AU’s stated plan was to acquire 2 squadrons of F-16Vs to augment the 33 older F-16s in service — to form a core for fighter sortie generation. I suspect that the original plan is either delayed or cancelled with Prabowo as Defence Minister.

4. There may be an implied understanding with the Americans that in return for their donation of 24 fighters and a transfer of technology to PTDI to help set up a local MRO centre, the TNI AU will buy F-16Vs. Having taken this benefit, Prabowo is asking what more can the Americans give Indonesia, given the past insults inflicted on him by the US State Department.
  • By way of background, Prabowo — the son-in-law of former Indonesian president Gen. Suharto (and dictator who ruled Indonesia for 31 years) — has been accused of kidnapping, human rights abuses, and an attempted coup. In May of 1988, Gen. Suharto was thrown out of office following a period of rioting and economic upheaval. Prabowo was accused of instigating the violence.
  • Soon after being dismissed from the army and shunned by the Jakarta elite, he was living in self-exile in Jordan.
  • In a decade, Prabowo as leader of Gerindra (a political group with an estimated 15 million members) has transformed from one of the most despised men in Indonesia to one of the most celebrated.
5. Prabowo now is figuratively strutting around Europe, and saying screw that implied arrangement with the Americans. I can understand why he is doing that — in the past, the United States said that they would deny Prabowo a visa because of his human rights record — as current defence minister, he just saying the TNI AU is not going to buy American F-16Vs, if he has other viable options.
 
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