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Indonesian Air Arms Overview

By Marco Pennings (revision date November 15, 2005)

The Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies, on March 8, 1942, initiated the final stage in Indonesia's search for independence. With Japanese support, the popular Ir. Sukarno formed a large militia ready to fight the Dutch on their return after the war. On August 17, 1945, Sukarno ended 350 years of Dutch colonial rule by proclaiming the free REPUBLIK INDONESIA. On April 9, 1946, the fledgling state, at war with the Dutch, formed its own Air Force, named ANGKATAN UDARA REPUBLIK INDONESIA, or AURI.

Aircraft used from 1945 until 1950 were mainly of Japanese Army and Navy origin and reclaimed from large dumps all over Java. The AURI order of battle in 1945/46 included some 100 aircraft of many different types, including the Ki51 Guntai , Ki43 Hayabusha , Ki36/55 Cukiu, K5Y1 Curen and Ki79B Nishikoren. No more than 30 to 50 aircraft were ever operational, and they were mostly used for pilot training. Two strong Dutch offensives against the Indonesian Republic in July 1947 and December 1948, completely destroyed the small air arm. Although the Republic was facing a military defeat, international outcry and pressure prevailed, and on December 27, 1949, the Republic of Indonesia gained its sovereignty from The Netherlands.

In 1950 approximately 253 ex ML-KNIL and MLD aircraft revived the AURI and a major reorganisation took place, with the formation of the first squadrons, or Skadron Udara (SkU). Important types received included the 42 B-25's (to SkU1), 26 P-51's (to SkU3), 34 C-47's (to SkU2, Skadron DAUM), 26 AT-16's (to WP-1), 63 L-4J's (to WP-1) and 22 Auster's (to SkU4). On February 20, 1956, the AURI entered the Jet age, when eight Vampire T-55's entered service, with what later became SkU11.

Ever since the Proclamation of Independence, domestic unrest has driven the development of the Air Force. In 1958, outlying provinces of Indonesia trying to break away from the central government with CIA support, were crushed one by one with the use of airpower. The former ML-KNIL aircraft played a major role, such as on May 18, 1958, when Captain Ignatius Dewanto, flying F-51D F-338 from Amahai, shot down CIA mercenary Allen Pope in an AUREV/CIA B-26B over Ambon harbour. The CIA pilot was taken prisoner.

Indonesia's first President, Ir. Sukarno, also confronted the Dutch in New Guinea in 1962, and the Malaysian Federation between 1963 and 1966. To support his plans, he started a re-equipment program in 1958. About twenty MiG-15UTI's (Czech CS-102), 30 MiG-17F's, 32 Il-28's and twenty Avia-14's arrived in Jakarta, ordered from Czechoslovakia. These were later augmented with a number of Mi-4 and Mi-6's from the Soviet Union. Also Poland provided arms for the Republic, as during 1958 and 1959 over 40 LIM-5/P fighters were delivered, together with eight SM-1 (Mi-1) helicopters. Polish pilots flew a small number of Avia B-33's. Finally, China delivered a dozen MiG-17's, Tu-2's, and some 24 La-11's, although the latter two saw little service. More large orders for Soviet arms were placed in 1961. These included 26 Tu-16 bombers, ten MiG-19's and twenty MiG-21's, thus introducing the AURI to the supersonic jet age. The only aircraft to arrive from the US, apart from ten K/C-130B's traded for the captured CIA pilot, were six B-26B Invaders in 1960, and about twenty P-51D Mustangs from 1958.

Again, global politics played a deciding role in the conflict over Dutch New Guinea. In early August 1962, it became clear that deployment targets for an Indonesian invasion of Dutch bases could not be met. Also, US U-2 recce planes were spotted over Indonesia, and Soviet submarines were known to support the Indonesian Navy. After the personal intervention of President Kennedy, President Sukarno cancelled the operation in August 1962, and the Dutch government was forced to deliver Dutch New Guinea into UN hands. Renamed Irian Jaya under Indonesian rule, the territory remains a hot-spot to the present day, seeing operational use of e.g. the B-26, OV-10, Puma and Army helicopters.

A new conflict involving the greatly expanded and modernised AURI began to unfold in 1963, when Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah formed the Malaysian Federation. In May 1964, President Sukarno called for the destruction of this Federation, and initiated a command that intensified infiltration's into Sarawak and Malaysia. However, after the loss of two C-130B's in 1964 and 1965, infiltration by air was stopped.

Ever since the first arms were delivered from the communist Eastern Bloc in 1957, the strength and influence of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), had grown considerably. On September 30, 1965 a violent Coup d'Etat was attempted in the capital Jakarta. With the murder of 6 high-ranking and one junior army officer, the history of Indonesia took a new turn. Within days, the army's Strategic Command under Major-General Suharto, later to become Indonesia's second president, defeated the rebels. The PKI was accused of the failed Coup attempt, and also Airforce Commander Omar Dani was arrested after the AURI was accused of active support. A bloody crackdown on (supposed) PKI supporters followed all over Indonesia, and many tens of thousands were killed. This also meant the end of Soviet support for the armed forces. Only in recent years have retired AURI members been able to speak out freely about this dark episode in their history, and make clear that the Airforce was never involved. At the time of the coup, the AURI had reached its peak strength, and was considered, in numbers, to be the largest Air Arm in SEA.

In August 1966, the Malaysian Federation and Indonesia ended the Confrontation. The years between 1966 and 1969 were one of the most difficult in AURI history. It had to regain the government's confidence, and rebuilt its forces without Soviet support. After many fatal crashes, most of its Eastern Bloc aircraft were withdrawn from use by 1970. A recovery program was initiated for the B-25, B-26 and C-47, additional F-51's were purchased, and the C-130 became the backbone of the AURI. General Suharto, who had regained support from the US, became Indonesia's second president on March 27, 1968.

In 1973, eighteen second-hand CAC-27 Sabre's arrived from Australia, as well as sixteen USAF surplus T-33A's and some sixteen Vietnam War veteran UH-34D's. They marked the beginning of the third revival of the airforce, having been renamed TNI-AU in early 1974. Both the Sabre's and the T-33's replaced the unserviceable MiG's. The only other (tactical) fighter still in service was the venerable Mustang, eight additional Cavalier T/F-51D's having been delivered in 1973. However, by 1975 they had also become unserviceable, and were replaced by the OV-10F in September 1976

In April 1974, the fascist Caetano regime in Lisbon, Portugal, was overthrown. This initiated civil unrest in Portuguese East Timor, or Timor-Timur, and a civil war erupted in the capital Dili, between pro Portugal troops and FRETILIN, the independence movement. In the mean time, Indonesia had launched a secret intelligence and destabilisation operation, and immediately took advantage of the situation. On November 28, 1975, Fretilin proclaimed the Democratic Republic of East Timor, but on December 7, Indonesia started OPERASI SEROJA, the invasion of Timor-Timur. That day nine C-130B's from SkU31 and six C-47's from SkU2 departed Adisucipto airbase, for Dili and Baucau, and 1000 paratroopers were dropped near Dili. A pro-Indonesian government was formed and Timor-Timur became an Indonesian province. Fretilin opposition continued into 1976 and in September, the first of sixteen OV-10F COIN aircraft were delivered to SkU3. They were frequently used in Timor-Timur from 1977, together with the A-4E and F-5E, as opposition to the Indonesian occupation never seized. After the economic recession of 1998, and the election of Indonesia's third President, Prof. Dr. Ing. B.J. Habibie, independence for East Timor became a possibility again. After a referendum on August 30, 1999, Timor Loro Sae, or Timor of the Rising Sun, became independent from Indonesia.

From 1976, the TNI-AU has seen a continuous period of modernisation and expansion. In 1980, the TNI-AU started replacing its venerable fighter force, when three new types entered service. On April 21, the first of twelve F-5E's and four F-5F's arrived, as replacement for the CAC-27 Sabre's with SkU14. Also arriving in April 1980, were fourteen A-4E's and two TA-4H's from surplus IDF/AF stock. They replaced the T-33A with SkU11. In September, the first Hawk Mk53's were delivered to Wing Pendidikan 1, and were operated next to the L-29. The Delfin soldiered on until 1983, when they were stored after twenty years of continued use, being the last Soviet Bloc type to be withdrawn. In 1982, SkU12 was reactivated with the second batch of sixteen former IDF/AF A-4E Skyhawks. SkU31 was re-equipped with the new C-130H-30 from September 1980. The patrol unit SkU5 at last received more modern equipment, when in 1982, the first of three B737-2X9's arrived, followed by a single C-130H-MP. This signalled the end for the UF-1/2 fleet, which was used until approximately 1987.

A dozen former Pelita H-500C's were delivered to SkU7 in December 1982, operating next to the Bell 47G's received from Australia in 1978. In 1981, SkU6 transferred its new Puma fleet to the reactivated SkU8, while retaining the re-engined UH-34D's better known as the S-58T. AS202 Bravo's replaced the last T-34A Mentors with W.P.1 from March 1981. They are used as elementary trainers, with basic training reserved for the T-34C since 1978.

As part of a large reorganisation, all the airforce squadrons were concentrated in two operational commands on April 1, 1985; Komando Operasi Angkatan Udara (KOOPSAU) I in Jakarta (for the Western part of Indonesia), and KOOPSAU II in Ujung Pandang (for the Eastern part of Indonesia).

In 1989, a contract was signed with Boeing to upgrade the B737-2X9's in use with SkU5. The modifications included an update of the Motorola SLAMMR, Side Looking Airborne Modular Multi-mission Radar. Aircraft AI-7301 was modified by Boeing and delivered by October 1993. Program MACAN (Indonesian for TIGER), or Modernisation of Avionics Capabilities for Armament and Navigation, is a major upgrade program involving the F-5E's and F-5F's forming SkU14. In 1995, a contract was signed with SABCA of Belgium. The first two aircraft arrived at Gosselies in May. Far behind schedule, test flying started in September 1997, and both aircraft returned to Indonesia in February 1999. The remaining ten F-5's will be upgraded at Iswahjudi with SABCA support, at a rate of three aircraft per five months. The present status of the project is unknown.

The first of eight F-16A's and four F-16B's were delivered in December 1989. These aircraft replaced the OV-10F in SkU3, and the Bronco's were used to reactivate SkU1. In November 1995, the airforce expressed a requirement for 64 F-16's to equip four squadrons, and showed an interest in the Pakistan Airforce F-16's stored at AMARC. After an initial agreement, President Suharto cancelled the deal in June 1997. Early August 1997, Jakarta announced the decision to purchase twelve SU-30KI's similar to the version delivered to India, with potentially an option for eight more. However, due to the monetary crisis, the deal was postponed in January 1998 until it resurfaced again in 2003, see later.

The last A-4's of SkU12 were transferred out in 1996, and the best aircraft are now concentrated in SkU11. Two ex AMARC TA-4J's were purchased, and after an upgrade in New Zealand, delivered in October 1999. In June 1993, the TNI-AU ordered eight Hawk Mk109's and sixteen Hawk Mk209's from BAe. The airforce's requirement over the next 25 years is reported to be 96 armed Hawks in eight squadrons, funds permitting. In May 1996, the first three Hawk Mk109s for SkU12 arrived in Indonesia. In June 1996, an option for sixteen additional Hawk Mk209's was exercised by the TNI-AU, and the first were delivered from April 1999 to the relocated SkU1 at Pontianak, replacing the OV-10F. Also the OV-10F's are to be withdrawn from use. They remain in use with the Unit OV-10 Bronco. This used to be the Bronco Flight until renamed SkU21 on September 11, 2004. However, after a fatal accident on July 21, 2005 the Bronco was withdrawn from operational tactical use and the unit was again renamed on July 26.

Also the transport units have seen new material arrive (and leave) during the past five years. The six remaining F27-400M's of SkU2 have been supplemented by IPTN CN235-100M's from January 1993. Three additional CN235-MPA's for SkU5 are part of a joint TNI-AU and TNI-AL order revealed in June 1996, but are yet to be delivered. The VIP unit SkU17 added two stretched IPTN NAS332L1 Super Puma's (VVIP models) to its fleet in 1993, followed by two ex Garuda F28-3000's in 1994. Also the two Merpati L100-30 Hercules transports were passed on to SkU17, and three L100-30's from Pelita to the TNI-AU in 1997. On the heli front, the H-500C's from SkU7 were sold in the US in early and mid 1996. In June 1997, an order for sixteen IPTN NAS332 Super Puma's was placed, comprising one VVIP, two VIP, seven Tactical Transports and six Combat SAR models. The first models were delivered to SkU6 in September 2001 starting the replacement of the S-58T's. Parallel to the delivery of the new Super Puma's, the TNI-AU has also embarked upon an upgrade and re-engine program for (at least) three older IPTN produced NSA330L Puma's. On February 27, 2004, the first Makila powered and redesignated NSA330SM arrived with SkU8.

The TNI-AU formed a new demonstration team in 1995 with F-16's from SkU3, known as Elang Biru (Blue Falcon). All aircraft received a striking blue/yellow colour scheme from December 1995. However, the team has been disbanded and the F-16's have received new (Millennium) colours in early 2000. A second display team, Team Jupiter, was formed on September 23, 1997, flying eight Hawk Mk53's from SkaDik.103. Today, also the Hawks, who are now part of SkU15 in a tactical role, have received new colours (Gray Spot) similar to the F-16's. In April 2001, the two demo teams were merged into one and named Jupiter Blue, flying three Hawk Mk53's, two F-16's and a single Hawk Mk109. After a fatal collision between two Hawk Mk53's on March 28, 2002, the team was disbanded. In May 2000, the TNI-AU revived the Wing structure for bases with two or more squadrons. On May 5, 2000, Wing 3 was formed at Iswahjudi, with other wings based at Halim (Wing 1), Abdulrachman Saleh (Wing 2) and Atang Senjaya (Wing 4).

In October 2000, word broke of a possible transfer of nineteen former Singapore Airforce SF260's, to the TNI-AU. They are seen as a compensation for the use of Indonesian airspace and facilities by the Singapore Airforce. The first six arrived on July 2, 2002, for use as special trainers by SkU2. All nineteen have arrived at Halim by now. In February 2003 ten aircraft moved out to Suryadarma. Also announced was the acquisition of the Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri as a replacement for the Bell 47G's of SkU7 at Suryadharma in 2003. The first two of twelve on order arrived in December 2001. In January 2001, the TNI-AU embarked upon a program to modernise its elementary and basic trainer fleet. It was announced that twenty KAI KT-1B Trainers are to be acquired, with seven to be delivered between May and November 2003. First flight of a TNI-AU KT-1B took place in december 2002, and the first aircraft entered service with SkaDik102 on July 14, 2003. They will replace (some of) the surviving AS202's and T-34C's with WP-1. In May 2005 five additional KT-1B's were ordered for delivery in 2007, with eight options remaining.

In a surprise move during a visit to Russia in April 2003, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri signed a contract for the delivery of two Su-27SK's, two Su-30MK's and two Mi-35P's (destined for Penerbad). The export Flankers will have a drogue refuelling probe. The two Su-27's arrived with SkU15 at Iswahjudi on August 27, followed by the two Su-30's on September 1. They were officially handed over on September 20, 2003. In July 2004 the TNI-AU finally said farewell to the A-4 Skyhawk as the last few operational examples were withdrawn from use by SkU11 at Hasanuddin. On April 12, 2005 they were replaced by the Flankers as they moved in from Iswahjudi to claim their new hangar. More Flanker orders are anticipated but financial problems keep changing the plans. In December 2004 the sole SkU17 B707-3M1C was sold and replaced by a B737-2Q8 in February 2005.

Under the umbrella of the TNI-AU, a number of specialised units operate a variety of aircraft and helicopters:

Satuan Udara Pertanian (SUP)

This is the Airforce's Agricultural unit which was activated on June 16, 1971, flying the PZL-104 Wilga. Their first base was Kemayoran International Airport, in Jakarta. The PZL-104's were supplemented by the PC-6B (in 1977) and the Ce188 (by 1982), and a Ce185 is also in use. Both the PZL-104 and Ce188 have since been withdrawn from service. After closure of Kemayoran, the unit relocated to Kalijati. The PC-6's are often used by the Federasi Aerosport Indonesia (FASI), see below, for skydiving. The SUP flies primarily in the weekends.

Badan SAR Nasional (BASARNAS)

The National Search and Rescue Service was formed on February 28, 1972. It received its first two IPTN built NBo105CB helicopters in 1983 for SAR duties. Three additional NBo105's, including one stretched version, were received by mid 1996. SkU6 operates the NBo105CB's and one H-500 in the Satuan Udara SAR (SAR unit) at Atang Senjaya. Three additional NBo105CB's are based with SkwU400, Disnerbal (Navy). A Bell 206 is also in use, and two former IPTN BK-117's were noted in 2000, although their use by BASARNAS is unclear.

Satuan Udara Federasi Aerosport Indonesia (FASI)

Activated under its current name on January 17, 1972, Indonesia's Aerosport Federation Aviation Unit has its main operating centre at Pondok Cabe, south west of Jakarta, but its activities span all of Indonesia, with aircraft at Husein Sastranegara, Bandung, and Kalijati, Subang. Aircraft maintenance is performed at Halim Perdanakusuma. The unit flies mainly in the weekends, and uses former TNI-AU aircraft in support of the federations activities, such as skydiving, aero modelling and gliding. Most pilots are (former) TNI-AU pilots. They also participate in air races, and its commander uses two immaculate Harvards as his personal transport. Aircraft include (but not all serviceable) the C-47/DC-3, T-6/AT-16, AS-202, T-34A Mentor, L-4J, Aviat Husky-A1, SC7 Skyvan, Ce150, Ce180, Ce185, Ce401, PZL-104, Pa23, Pa32, Pa34, UF-2, An-2, and many gliders. On occasion, active TNI-AU aircraft are also used, such as the PC-6B, NC-212 and S-58T.

Indonesian Naval Aviation

Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut

The Dinas Penerbangan Angkatan Laut, or Indonesian Naval Aviation Service was activated on June 17, 1956, as Dinas Penerbangan ALRI (Naval Aviation Service), and renamed Dinas Penerbangan TNI-AL or DISNERBAL, in early 1974. The first aircraft to enter service in numbers were eighteen Gannet AS-4/T-5's bought in the UK in 1957. They were purchased for the ASW role as an alternative for the S-2F Tracker, which the US refused to sell due to the political situation at the time. In August 1957, the first six students were send to the UK to start their pilot training at RAF Oakington (Vampire) and the Fairey factory at White Waltham (Gannet). The first two aircraft arrived with SkwU100 in 1960, and were based at Morokrembangan naval airstation, Surabaya.

In July 1962, the ALRI relocated six Gannets from SkwU100, and two HU-16's from SkwU300 to Liang airbase, Ambon, in order to cover the sea north of Sulawesi during the conflict with the Dutch. Two Gannets remained at Morokrembangan for pilot training. In August 1962, the aircraft had moved to Morotai, preparing for the invasion of Dutch New Guinea. Late August 1962, after the conflict had come to a peaceful end, they returned to Liang via Mapengat, Manado, while one Gannet fatally crashed near Ambon. Soon afterwards, the unit returned to its homebase.

During the confrontation with Malaysia from 1964 until 1966, Gannets of SkwU100 were based at Tanjung Pinang, Riau, and also flew from Denpasar, Bali. As the UK was a participant in the conflict, the flow of spare parts was immediately stopped, and the ALRI had to resort to cannibalism to keep the Gannets operational. Within a few years, the Gannets were grounded and withdrawn from use. By 1965, as the Confrontation was at its peak, the ALRI had taken delivery of its first Eastern Bloc aircraft. A total of fifteen Mi-4 helicopters (nine ASW and Maritime Patrol, five General Purpose and a single VIP model) for SkwU400 were delivered from late 1963. The ALRI was also to receive the TU-16KS, but tactical airpower was deemed more important, so ten Il-28T torpedo bombers and two Il-28U trainers entered service with SkwU500. These second hand former Soviet aircraft were delivered including 59 RAT-52 torpedoes, and based at the new Juanda naval airstation south of Surabaya, where the first flight took place in April 1965. That same year the ALRI also received fourteen Beagles from the AURI, but these were never used due to their age. After the October 1965 Coup, the Il-28's soon became unserviceable, and were grounded in 1967 (or 1970, but some reports say the Il-28 was still operational in 1972!). SkwU600 was activated in 1965, and operated the C-47 and DC-3. The first helicopters had arrived in the early 60's from both the US (Bell 47-J2A) and France (Alouette 2), joining SkwU400.

Several trainers, communications and VIP aircraft also served with DISNERBAL, allocated to SkwU200. An Aero Commander 680FLP was received in October 1967 (and a Grand Commander 500?). In October 1968, four DC-100 Lark Commanders arrived, and joined SkwU400 (by 1978), but were later transferred to SkwU200. This unit also received the F-33A Bonanza's ordered in August 1986, the TB-9 Tampico and Pa38 Tomahawk. A new Maritime Patrol unit formed in 1975 is SkwU800, receiving twelve GAF N-22B's from December 1975 at NAS Juanda. Six more advanced GAF N-22SL models from June 1981 supplemented them.

On October 16, 1975, the town of Balibo in East Timor fell into Indonesian hands, and 5 Australian journalists were killed. As a protest, Australia postponed the GAF Nomad delivery. From September until November 1977, a new TNI offensive in East Timor saw the first use of Nomads on offensive surveillance missions. SkwU600 received the first of ten IPTN NC212M-200's in March 1984, but continued to operate the DC-3's on a limited scale until at least late 1993. The Mi-4's had been withdrawn from use in 1972, and not been replaced. In December 1977, the IPTN NBo105CB revived SkwU400, six being delivered. Four years later, in April 1981, it resumed its ASW role with the arrival of the Wasp HAS-1, as ten former Dutch Navy (MLD) examples entered service at NAS Juanda. The unit continued to expand, and the first of four Exocet equipped IPTN NAS332F Super Puma's arrived in December 1984, followed by six IPTN NB412S's from March 1989.

On March 8, 1996, the Chief-of-Staff of the Naval Aviation Service announced the planned purchase of the IPTN CN235-MPA (Maritime Patrol), NC212 (Light Transport) and GAF Nomad (Tactical Maritime Patrol). A CN235 order revealed in June 1996, includes two CN235-MPA's and one CN235M-100 (Paratroop). From the original batch of eighteen GAF N22B/SL Nomads delivered, only nine remained operational by January 1997 and a contract worth AUS$2 million for twenty second-hand Nomads was signed in November 1996. The first seven ex Royal Australian Army GAF N22B's arrived at Juanda NAS, Surabaya, in January 1997, after their ferry flight via Darwin, Kupang NAS and Sumbawa Besar. Six of the new aircraft will be based at Kijang, Riau and Sabang, Aceh. The deliveries were completed by August 8, 1997, when the twenty aircraft were handed over to SkwU800 in a ceremony at NAS Juanda. Two (or all six) N24A's will be used for VIP flights. Although the purchase of the Nomads was controversial, due to the RAA withdrawal on grounds of safety and performance shortcomings, DISNERBAL Chief-of-Staff Setio Rahardjo stated that the Nomad is very well suited for maritime patrol. In addition, the service has 21 years of experience on the type and therefore knows its "character", it is easy to maintain and a large stock of spare parts is available. Four additional Nomads (two N 22-MPA's and two N 24-MPA's) were purchased in 2001, probably in Australia.

Late 1994, program On Top II was to have added three NC212's, three NC212-MPA's and three NBo105's to the service's strength, and after some delay a contract with IPTN was confirmed in June 1996. These NC212-MPA's are to replace the old Nomads with SkwU800, and are equipped for maritime patrol and surveillance operations with Thomson-CSF AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation Control System) avionics, Ocean Master Surveillance Radar, CHLIO FLIR and Sextant Avionique systems. The three Basic Military NC212's have been delivered by now and the first NC212M-200 PATMAR (is MPA) was delivered on May 12, 2005. Delivery of the IPTN NBo105's, fitted with similar equipment less the CHLIO system, may have started in early 2000. Additionally, three ex-Departemen Kehutanan NBo-105CB's are expected with SkwU400 post September 2003. A veteran entering service is the DHC-5 Buffalo. Two ex UAE Airforce aircraft were overhauled by IPTN at Bandung, and the first one was delivered to SkwU600 on July 4, 1997. They will replace the C-47's in SkwU600, stored since 1988/89 although one was probably still operational in December 1993. On June 26, 1996, GKN Westland confirmed UK government approval for the sale of 6 Sea Lynx and Super Lynx ASW helicopters to the Indonesian Navy, to be operated from four new naval vessels. They would replace the Wasp HAS-1 helicopters with SkwU400, but no order had been placed by early 1998. On June 17, 1998, the three remaining airworthy Wasp's were finally grounded. An additional IPTN NB412 was delivered in March 1997.

In January 2001, Kadisnerbal (Chief of Naval Aviation) Laksma TNI Yayun Riyanto announced that the TNI-AL had decided to buy two Mil Mi-17 and eight (later changed to sixteen) new Mi-2 light transport helicopters. A contract for the Mi-2's was signed in March 2003, and two were subsequently delivered to SkwU400. Ten will be based at Juanda NAS, Surabaya, and six in Jakarta. Further deliveries by PLC Rostov Mil have however been blocked because of the high price and the fact that the helicopters were second hand! Also, PZL-Swidnik SA could deliver new Mi-2's for less money. The TNI-AL took delivery of three Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri training helicopters from September 2001, and assigned them to SkwU200. The delivery of three more is imminent. On February 14, 2005 three EADS Socata TB-9 GT's and two TB-10 GT's entered service with SkwU200. In July 2005 seven PZL-Mielec M28B-1RI maritime patrol Skytrucks and three M28B-1TDI light transport Skytrucks were ordered with deliveries to start in late 2005.

Indonesian Army Aviation

Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Darat

This Service was activated on November 14, 1959, as Dinas Penerbangan Angkatan Darat (Army Aviation Service), or DINAS PENERBAD. The army was renamed TNI-AD in early 1974, but the flying corps is still referred to as PENERBAD. Although the army has been the ABRI's strongest service, both politically and military, it did not play a significant role in Indonesia's aviation history until the mid 70's. Until 1965, PENERBAD's main task was VIP transport, communications and observation. In these roles it operated a large variety of aircraft in small numbers, e.g. the C-47 and DC-3, DHC-2, L-19A, and various models of the Grand-, Turbo- and Aero Commander. Fixed wing aircraft were mostly based at Kemayoran airport, Jakarta. In 1961 it received the unique Belalang 90 trainer, a locally modified Piper L-4J with relocated wings.

In 1965, the first helicopters arrived in the form of sixteen Mi-4's, later supplemented by approximately ten Alouette 3's. After the 1965 Coup, it suffered the same pilot shortage as the AURI and ALRI, to the point that in 1967 PENERBAD had only one qualified Mi-4 pilot for sixteen helicopters! That year the first students were send to the US and France for pilot training. In the 1970's, PENERBAD also operated several Cessna models (e.g. Ce185, Ce310P), the Beech D-18S, DHC-3 and BN-2A. As the guerrilla in both Irian Jaya and East Timor continued, PENERBAD received its first Air Attack helicopters in 1977, with the arrival of the IPTN NBo105CB (eighteen received), and the Bell 205A-1 (sixteen delivered) which is also used for Air Mobilisation. For general support duties, IPTN delivered six NC212M-200's from February 15, 1984.

Over the past 10 years, PENERBAD has primarily focused on expanding its helicopter fleet. In September 1988, four IPTN NB412S's were delivered to attack helicopter squadron Skuad1, supplemented in 1995 by three IPTN NB412HP (High Performance) models, and again two more in March 1997. Also delivered to Skuad1 between 1990 and 1994 were six IPTN NBo105CB-4 attack helicopters. By August 1997, PENERBAD had purchased 21 Bell 205's on the US civil market, and were to convert them for military use. However, the deal was cancelled, because no export licence had been granted. Two ex UAE Airforce DHC-5 Buffalo's were delivered to the general support squadron Skuad2, and the first (VIP) aircraft was handed over by IPTN on July 4, 1997, together with the first navy example. They replace the service's DC-3's withdrawn from use by October 1995. On June 19, 1997, six IPTN NC-212's were ordered at Le Bourget, and the first (VIP) example was seen with IPTN in April 1998.

Late 1997, DINAS PENERBAD was reorganised as PUSAT PENERBAD (Army Aviation Centre), and had decided to form an integral helicopter squadron for the elite Special Forces unit Komando Pasukan Khusus (KOPASSUS), known as Detasemen Penerbangan Kopassus. They would be equipped with eight Mi-17-1V Hip-H's to be delivered in January 1998. Thus Kopassus would no longer be depending on Penerbad's regular heli forces. In November 1997, 50 technicians and pilots had started training in Russia, but the deal was postponed in January 1998. Finally in 2003, four Kazan manufactured Mi-17's were ordered for delivery in February 2004. So far, delivery has again been delayed because a downpayment of $3 million to Kazan vanished into thin air. The Army wants to buy eight additional Mi-17's in 2004. During a visit to Russia in April 2003, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri signed a contract for the delivery of two Mi-35P's, which arrived in Jakarta on September 15. They were handed over to Skuad1 on September 20. The Army wanted to buy three additional Mi-35P's in 2004 but so far nothing has materialized.

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