25 November 2011

U.S. To Transfer Upgraded F-16s to Indonesia

The White House issued a statement Nov. 18 saying that it will transfer more than two dozen surplus F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters to Indonesia.

"The Government of Indonesia has chosen to improve its internal air defense capability through the upgrade and regeneration of Excess Defense Articles (EDA) USAF F-16 Block 25 aircraft provided to the Government of Indonesia via a grant approved in August 2011," the statement reads.

The deal represents the largest transfer of defense articles between the U.S. and Indonesia, according to the statement.

The White House statement called the move "a signal of the growing commitment to regional security under the bilateral Comprehensive Partnership."

Indonesia currently operates an aging fleet of 10 Block 15 F-16 A and B model jets. Indonesia wants a total of 30 fighters; 24 of those would be F-16 Block 25 aircraft that would be refurbished and modernized.

"At the conclusion of the regeneration, Indonesia will possess a fleet of 24 F-16 aircraft updated with the most advanced Modular Mission Computer (MMC) produced by Raytheon," the statement reads. "The aircraft will also have vastly improved radar, avionics, and the capability to carry and field more advanced weaponry and sensors."

An additional four Block 25 jets and two Block 15 aircraft would be transferred to use as spare parts. The grant also includes 28 Pratt & Whitney F100 afterburning turbofan engines.

Indonesia will pay to refurbish the 24 F-16s destined for operational use and will also pay for the overhaul of the 28 engines.

The U.S. Defense Department is working with the Indonesian Defense Ministry to draft the final documents and is waiting for the final congressional notification to be completed. The notification and the final Letter of Offer and Acceptance should be completed by early 2012. If all goes as planned, the first modernized aircraft will be delivered by 2014, the statement reads.

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