Indonesia plans to buy U.S. fighter jets, cargo planes

12:31, July 01, 2010      

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An Indonesian senior official disclosed that the country's officials had told their U.S. counterparts about the intention to buy American-made military aircrafts, in hopes that a U.S.-embargo on military may soon be lifted, local media reported in Jakarta on Thursday.

"During a bilateral meeting, the Indonesian government expressed its interest to purchase F-16 and C 130H Hercules to complete its squadron," Indonesian Defence Ministry Spokesman I Wayan Midhio said on Wednesday.

He said that Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates discussed the potential sale during the Shangri-La defence dialogue in Singapore last month.

The U.S. welcomed Indonesia's proposal to buy more U.S. military equipment, he added.

The U.S. also pledged 15.7 million to Indonesia in 2010 and 20 million in 2011 under the aegis of capacity building programs to help modernize the Indonesian military (TNI), Wayan said.

The U.S. military aid will be in the form of training and education to be carried out in both Indonesia and the United States, he added.

The U.S. offered to sell surplus fighter jets as steeply discounted prices to persuade Indonesia to buy, Wayan said.

Indonesia currently has only four operational fighter jets, or less than a single squadron as a squadron should have 12 planes depending on operational, maintenance and training plans, the Jakarta Post reported.

The Air Force has two operational commands in the country's east and west regions. Each command has two air bases which in turn requires eight fighter jet squadron per base.

Source: Xinhua


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