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The Indonesian Air Force ( , TNI–AU) is the air force branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces.

The Indonesian Air Force has 27,850 personnel equipped with 346 aircraft including Su-27 and Su-30.

History

Before Indonesian Independence (1941-1945)

After World War II ended, Indonesia became the second country (after Thailand/Siam) in South East Asia to acquire an Air Force Capability. Indonesian pilots fought against the colonial forces of The Netherlands during 1945-1949 with former Japanese aircraft abandoned at the end of World War II, as well as aircraft of the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (including Curtiss P-36 Mohawk, Brewster F2A Buffalo and Fokker D.XXI fighters; Glenn Martin B-10 bombers; Fokker C.X reconnaissance floatplanes) left before the occupation by Japan in 1941.

Indonesian War of Independence/The Netherlands 'Police Action' (1945-1949)

Captured Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar used by the Indonesians in the War of Independence.
Note the early roundel version.
After the Japanese surrendered at the end of WW II, Indonesian nationalist leader Sukarno declared Indonesian Independence on August 17, 1945. Several days later, a People's Security Force (Badan Keamanan Rakyat) was formed to undertake security duties. The Air Division of this force was also formed, using ex-Japanese planes scattered everywhere, especially in the island of Java, including Bugis Air Base in Malang (Established on 18 September 1945). The most numerous of these airplanes were the Kawanishi K5Y1 Willow (Curen) trainers, which were hastily used to train newly recruited cadets. At the time of the founding, there was only one Indonesian holding a multi-engine pilot license from the pre-war Dutch Flying School (but did not have an opportunity to fly during the 3.5-year Japanese occupation). He was assisted by a few Japanese pilots who decided to stay in the newly born country. The new roundel was created simply by painting white on the lower part of the Japanese Hinomaru, reflecting the red and white of the Indonesian flag. The People's Security Force was then re-organized to form a formal armed force. This marked the birth of the Indonesian Air Force on April 9, 1946. However, tensions rose as the Dutch tried to re-claim their former colony and launched an assault in July 21, 1947, destroying most of the planes on the ground. Some planes survived though and were hidden in remote bases.

July 29, 1947 was date of the first air operation by the newborn air force as three surviving aircraft, comprising two Yokosuka K5Y "Willow"(Curen) and a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia" (the fourth aircraft, a Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar" (Hayabusha), should also have been involved in the raid, but as of when it was launched, the aircraft was not airworthy) conducted air raids at dawn on the Dutch Army barracks in Semarang, Salatiga and Ambarawa, dropping incendiary bombs. Tactically, these raids did not have any effect on the Dutch positions, but psychologically, it was a great success as it proved that the Indonesian Air Force still existed. The Dutch had previously claimed the destruction of Indonesian Air Force in their assault before and they never expected any attack from the sky. Dutch Curtiss P-40E Warhawk tried to find all the guerrillas' planes, but they were too late to find those "ghost" aircraft which landed quickly in Maguwo Air Base, near Yogyakarta (now, Adisucipto International Airportmarker). Indonesian pro-independence guerrillas tried to save captured aircraft in a number of remote areas, including examples of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen "Zeke", Aichi D3A "Val", and Mitsubishi G4M "Betty".

Under pressure from the United Nations, the Dutch finally agreed to acknowledge Indonesian independence. Following the 1949 Round Table Conference, sovereignty was officially transferred to the United States of Indonesia. The Dutch armed forces left (but remained in West Papuamarker until 1963) and the airplanes were handed over to the Indonesians. These comprised, among others, North American P-51 Mustang, North American B-25 Mitchell, Douglas A-26 Invader, Douglas C-47 Dakota and Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, which served as the main forces of the Indonesian Air Force for the following decade. During this era, Indonesia received its first jet aircraft; De Havilland DH-115 Vampire. It was also during this era that the national roundels were changed to the red & white pentagon.


Action against rebellions (1950-1961)

Political instability meant that the Indonesian Air Force saw action against several regional rebellions in Indonesia, such as PRRI-PERMESTA, Darul Islam-Tentara Islam Indonesia and the Republic of South Maluku separatists. Several Indonesian pilots scored their first kills, including Capt. Ignatius Dewanto with his P-51 Mustang, who shot down a PRRI-PERMESTA A-26 Invader over Ambon. Its pilot, an American CIA agent named Allen Lawrence Pope, was captured and put on trial in Jakarta, thus revealing the significant involvement of the CIA's Operation Haik in the rebellion. The most famous Indonesian fighter pilot during this time was Rusmin Nurjadin, who became Chief of the Air Staff from 1966 to 1969. He also commanded MiG-21 squadrons from 1962 to 1965 and founded an acrobatic team in 1962 that flew the MiG-17F/PF Fresco over some cities in Indonesia. Little numbers of Indonesian Air Force's pilot gained their reputation as aces in this era.

The Golden Era of Soviet Influence (1962-1965)

The rise of the communist party in Indonesia (Communist Party of Indonesia) drew Indonesia closer to the Eastern Block. Several Soviet-built aircraft began to arrive in the early 60’s. In 1961, Indonesia became the second country to receive and operate the new Tu-16 bombers. Around 25 Tu-16KS missile strike Badgers were delivered complete with AS-1 air-surface missiles. One crashed at the end of 1962. Several kinds of MiG also arrived comprising MiG-15UTI, MiG-17F/PF, MiG-19S and F-13, in addition to Ilyushin Il-28, Mil Mi-4, Mil Mi-6 and Antonov An-12.Indonesia also received La-11. Some Tupolev Tu-2 from China also arrived, intended to replace the B-25, but they never reached operational status. These aircraft served along with the remaining western aircraft such as B-25 Mitchell, A-26 Invader, C-47 Dakota, and P-51 Mustang. It was during this period that the Indonesian Air Force became the largest air force in the southern hemisphere.

This era also marked the last confrontation with the Dutch in Papua, before the Dutch, again under pressure of the United Nations, left in 1963. The Indonesian Air Force at this time had more modern and greater numbers of aircraft than Dutch. Several missions of USAF Taiwan-based Lockheed U-2s from 35th Squadron (Black Cat Squadron in Taiwanmarker) flew over Maluku (Mollucas) and reported to Dutch military that there was a big possibility that Dutch would lose their air superiority over Papua if they continued the war. Although Indonesia won this conflict in a diplomatic way, several P-51,MiG-15,MiG-21 and C-47 were downed in this short conflict.

In this period, Indonesian Air Force also took part in the confrontation with the Malaysian Federation (backed by the United Kingdommarker) along the border of Kalimantan, the Malacca Strait and near the Singapore Border. However, Indonesian lost more aircraft than had been shot down in the conflict in Papua.

The September 30 movement and the overthrow of Sukarno (1966-1970)

The coup attempt lead by the 30 September Movement in 1965 changed everything and a new anti-communist regime from the Army, led by Major General Suharto, took power. Ties with the Eastern block countries were cut, and thus support and spare parts for the planes became short. By August 1968 the situation was critical, and in early 1970, the Air Force Chief-of-Staff, Suwoto Sukandar, said that the spare parts situation meant that only 15 -20 percent of aircraft were airworthy. The MiG force made its farewell flight with a flypast of Jakartamarker in 1970. The relatively new MiG-19s were sold to Pakistanmarker. By October 1970, only one Tu-16 was still flying, but after an in-flight engine failure, it too was grounded. The largest air force in the southern hemisphere slowly but surely became one of the smallest. In 1973, the United States supplied military assistance including T33s trainers and UH-34D helicopters in exchange for four old MiG-21 F-13s. Over the next three years, the US supplied 16 Rockwell OV-10 Broncos counter-insurgency aircraft and F-5E/F Tiger II fighters, in exchange for which the Indonesian Air Force handed over the majority of its remaining MiG-21 F-13s, which were used to form a US Air Force Aggressor squadron. The Indonesian Air Force also took part in the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timormarker (now Timor Leste).

Rebirth of the Indonesian Air Force (1970-1980)

Indonesia recovered soon by receiving ex-Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) CAC Sabres — an Australian re-design of the F-86 Sabre — to replace their MiG-21s. The Sabre was used by the TNI-AU until 1982.

Indonesia then purchased BAe Hawk Mk 53s from United Kingdom in the 1970s.

The Influence of Western Products (1980-1998)

In the early 1980s, the Air Force, needing modern strike aircraft, organized Operation Alpha to clandestinely acquire ex-Israeli Air Force A-4 Skyhawks. Air Force personnel were sent in secret by different routes and eventually Indonesian received 32 aircraft.

In 1982, Indonesia purchased 16 Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II from the United States to replace their Sabres. These were upgraded in Belgiummarker from 1995.

During 1986–88, there was a tight competition for the contract to provide a new fighter bomber, between the Northrop F-16 and Dassault Mirage 2000, (especially after the Indonesian Air Show in 1986). Indonesia ordered 12 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon Block 15 OCU as a new fighter to strengthen the Indonesian Air Force in 1989. A follow-up order for 9 more F-16A Block-15 OCU was cancelled in favor of 24 Su-30KI Flankers, this order was also cancelled due to the ASEAN Economic Crisis. The Indonesian Air Force had originally planned to acquire 60 F-16s to cover and defend its 12 million square kilometers of territory. A total of 10 F-16A and F-16B are still in service with Indonesian Air Force: 2 planes crashed in two different accidents. However, only a few of these are still serviceable.

The Indonesian Air Force ordered eight BAe Hawk Mk 109s and 32 Mk 209s in 1993. The last of these was delivered by January 1997.

TNI-AU Today (1998 - present)

In 1999, the Indonesian Military staged a military intervention following the East Timor's referendum. The result was that more than 1,500 were civilians killed and 70 percent of Dili's infrastructure razed. In response, the United States and the European Union both imposed arms embargoes. Although the European Union chose not to renew its ban in 2000, the United States did not lift its embargo until November 2005. During this embargo the Indonesian government turned to Russiamarker to supply them with arms including fighters, helicopters, missiles, radars and other equipment.

In 2002, Indonesian Air Force continued to use all of its assets against local separatists, such as the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM). In the conflict with GAM in Aceh, the Indonesian Air Force utilized OV-10Fs for counter-insurgency actions along with BAe Hawk 53 and 209 with great success.

In July 2003, the Air Force managed to scramble two fully armed F-16 to intercept five U.S. F/A-18 Hornets maneuvering over Bawean Island off the Eastern coast of Java island. The incident ended peacefully through a Friend or Foe hand signal. A US spokesman said that the naval aircraft had sought permission to enter Indonesian airspace while escorting a US aircraft carrier, but that the request arrived too late at the air force defense headquarters in Jakarta due to red tape.

In that same year, the Air Force received two Sukhoi Su-27s and two Sukhoi Su-30s from Russia. The fighters were partly paid for in Indonesian palm oil. The purchase, however, did not include any weaponry. Unbeknown to most, Seven KT-1b Korean basic trainers were also purchased.

By 2005 the Air Force was experiencing a logistical crisis. The F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-4 Skyhawk, which accounted for 80% of its air combat assets, were at the minimum or nil level of combat readiness.

To respond to the crisis, in 2006, the Indonesian Air Force ordered three Sukhoi Aerospace Su-27SKM and three Sukhoi Aerospace Su-30MK2 to complete a full squadron. It was also made public that the four aircraft procured in 2003 were inactive and awaiting an upgrade of their communication systems, as they were incompatible with the Indonesian systems in use. The additional aircraft will be ordered with systems complying with the Indonesian and international standards and would also include new weaponry for all variants. A further 12 KT-1b Korean basic trainers were also ordered in 2006.

Future plans, military budgets permitting, include purchasing new F-16C/D Fighting Falcons to strengthen the F-16 squadron, upgrading the current fleet of C-130 Hercules to modern C-130Js and buying newer C-130Js to supplement the inventory, purchasing newer advanced trainers and light attack aircraft for COIN operations, purchasing new radars and receiving new logistical equipment from both Western and Russian manufacturers. The Indonesian Ministry of Defense also expressed an interest in buying approximately two squadrons of refurbished Dassault Mirage 2000-5 from France, complete with Matra Magic II and MBDA MICA air-to-air missiles. France recommended the Dassault Rafale to Indonesian Air Force, since Dassault had decided to stop the production of Dassault Mirage 2000. The Indonesian Air Force is also showing interest in the newly made Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon and JF-17 Thunder from China, and also the SAAB JAS-39 Gripen from Sweden, all suitable options for succeeding the aging Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II. In March 2008, Indonesian Air Force ordered 16 Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano from Brazil to replace its Rockwell OV-10F Bronco.

To date, the Indonesian Air Force has only acquired four types of missiles - the AS-1 Kennel (KS-1 Kometa), AIM-9 Sidewinder, AGM-65 Maverick and AA-2 Atoll (Vympel K-13). There are plans to purchase more advanced air-to-air missiles, such as AA-10 Alamo (Vympel R-27), AA-11 Archer (Vympel R-73), AA-12 Adder (Vympel R-77) and AA-X-13 Arrow (Vympel R-37), as well as other air-to-ground missiles (AS-14 "Kedge" (Kh-29), anti ship missiles (AS-17 "Krypton" and AS-13 "Kingbolt"), general purpose bombs and cluster bombs from Russia, to be carried by their Flankers. At this time, Indonesian Flankers are armed with Indonesian made (US licensed) Mk.82 bombs. There is a possibility that Indonesian Air Force will also purchase extremely long range air-to-air missile Novator KS-172 AAM-L, after the Indonesian Army evaluated and showed their interest in purchasing S-300PMU "Grumble" and SA-17 "Grizzly" missiles.

Local weapons are being developed such as P-100 air-to-ground bomb manufactured by CV Sari Bahari Malang, East Java. P-100 has been successfully tested in Su-27 and Su-30 for ground attack missions. Further massive production is subject to approval from Ministry of Defence.

Force Structure

Bases and command areas of the Indonesian Air Force
Headquarters; Jakartamarker, Indonesiamarker.

The Indonesian Air Force's Order of Battle is split into two Air Force Operational Commands (KOOPSAU) (east and west regions) but most of its airbases are located on the island of Javamarker





NOTE:

†These squadrons were combined to make the Air Force's aerobatics squadron and were known as The Blue Jupiter but were dispanded during the 90s.

††Aerial refueling is also assigned to this squadron

Aircraft inventory


locally produced by Indonesian Aerospace

Indonesian Air Force Gallery

Image:AURI B-25.jpg|B-25 Mitchell bombers of the AURI in the 1950sImage:Su-30-mk2.jpg|Su-30 MK of the TNI-AU (Indonesian Air Force)Image:Jmnei.jpg|A Javaneseengineer closes one of the gun bay doors on a Dutch Buffalo, January 1942.Image:Team Iswahjudi.jpg|Squadron 14, 15 & 3 of the Iswahjudi Air Force Base flying over the coast of Javamarker

Commanders

The following have served as Chief of the Air Staff:



Notable Incidents

  • A Fokker F-27 crashed on the 6th of April 2009, killing all 24 occupants. There were 6 crew, an instructor and 17 special forces trainees on board.
  • A Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules, Model 382G-57C, A-1325, c/n 4917 crashed on the 20th of May, 2009, killing at least 97 people and injuring 15 others, including some on the ground. The airplane was carrying 98 passengers and 14 crew at the time and was travelling from Halim Perdanakusuma International Airportmarker in Jakartamarker to West Papuamarker via Sulawesimarker. Officials have stated that the plane crashed at about 6:30 a.m. around 5-7 kilometres from the Iswahyudi Air Force Base (160 kilometres East of Yogyakarta). An official statement has not been released.


Notes

  • Aero-News Network. "Indonesian Air Force Grounds OV-10 Bronco Fleet," July 25, 2007
  • Angkasa (Sky) magazine, Gramedia, Jakarta No. 7 Year XVII April 2008
  • Crouch, Harold (2007) The Army and Politics in Indonesia, Equinox, Jakarta ISBN 979-378-050-9
  • Davies, Steve (2008) Red Eagles: America's Secret MiGs Osprey Publishing ISBN 978 84603 378 0
  • F. Djoko Poerwoko (2001) My Home My Base: Perjalanan Sejarah Pangkalan Udara Iswahjudi 1939-2000, Publisher - Iswahjudi Air Force Base, No ISBN
  • Indonesian Embassy, Ottawa: US to help RI in repair/refurbishing 15 of 24 RI's C-130 transport
  • Grodin, Yefim & Rigmat, Vladimir (2004) Tupelov Tu-16 Badger , Aerofax, London ISBN 1-85780-177-6
  • Scramble Magazine. "Indonesian Air Arms Overview"
  • Willis, David (Ed). Aerospace Encyclopedia of the World's Air Forces. Aerospace Publishing, London, 1999 ISBN 1-86184-045-4


References



Further reading

  • Carlo Kopp, 'Indonesia's Air Capacity of Critical Concern to Australia,' Australian Aviation magazine, April 1993, pages 32–41


External links



Aircraft
Origin
Role
Versions
Inventory
In service
On order
Note
Trainer Aircraft
FFA AS/SA-202 Bravo
Italymarker

Switzerlandmarker
basic prop trainer
AS/SA 202-18A
40
28
KAI KT-1 Wongbee
South Koreamarker
basic prop trainer
KT-1B
7
7
12
Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
United Statesmarker
basic prop trainer
T-34C
14
14
Aermacchi SF.260
Italymarker
basic prop trainer
SF-260M/W
19
15
19 were donated by Singapore
BAe Hawk
United Kingdommarker
basic jet trainer
advanced jet trainer
Hawk 53
Hawk 109
20


8
2


8
Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
United Statesmarker
advanced jet trainer
TA-4H
TA-4J
2
2
0
0
total
112
76
12
Combat Aircraft
BAe Hawk 209
United Kingdommarker
light ground attack/COIN
Hawk 209
32
29
Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
United Statesmarker
light ground attack/COIN
OV-10F
16
0
Fleet grounded as of 2005 as a result of a crash
Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
United Statesmarker
ground attack
A-4E
A-4H
33
0
Fleet has been retired as of 2004
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
United Statesmarker
multirole fighter
F-16A Block-15 OCU
F-16B Block-15 OCU
7
3
7


3
Indonesia had a total of 12 F-16 aircraft in 1996 but 2 were lost during different incidents.
Northrop F-5E Tiger II
United Statesmarker
multirole fighter
F-5E
16
4
Sukhoi Su-27
Russiamarker
air superiority fighter
Su-27SK
Su-27SKM
2
0
2
0
3
3 Su-27SKM variants were purchased in 2006. The delivery is scheduled to be completed between 2009-2010.
Sukhoi Su-30
Russiamarker
strike fighter
Su-30MK
Su-30MK2
2
3
2
3
total
114
50
3
Tactical Airlift, Transport, Maritime Patrol Aircraft
Boeing 737
United Statesmarker
VIP Transport
maritime reconnaissance
737 2Q8
737 2x9 Surveiller
1
3
1
3

Fitted with Motorola AN/APS-135 SLAMMR (Side-looking Airborne Modular Multi-mission Radar)
de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo
Canadamarker
tactical airlift
DHC-5D
3
3
Lockheed C-130 Hercules
United Statesmarker
airlift/transport
aerial Refuel
C-130B/-H/-H-30
KC-130B Hercules
24
2
8
2
Plans of upgrading or possibly buying newer variants
Lockheed L-100
United Statesmarker
transport/ VIP Transport
L-100-30
8
6
Fokker F-27 Friendship
Netherlandsmarker
airlift/transport
F27-400M
7
6
CASA CN-235
Spainmarker

Indonesiamarker
airlift/transport
maritime reconnaissance
CN-235 110/220M
CN-235 MPA
6
0
6
0
0
3


Fokker F28 Fellowship
Netherlandsmarker
airlift/transport
F-28 Mk 1000
F-28 Mk 3000
5
5
CASA C-212 Aviocar
Spainmarker
airlift/transport
NC-212-100
NC-212-200
NC-212-400
28

28




†Upgrading to NC212-200/-400 versions in the near future
total
88
69
3
Helicopters and Non Fix Winged Aircraft
Eurocopter EC 120 Colibri
Francemarker
light utility helicopter
EC-120B
11
11
Replaced the Bell 47G-3B
Sikorsky S-58
United Statesmarker
utility helicopter
S-58T
12
8
Currently being phased out due to service life & lack of spare parts
Aérospatiale AS 330 Puma
Francemarker
troop transport
NAS 330J
11
11
Bell 412
United Statesmarker
troop transport
NBell 412S
NBell 412HP
4
4
4
4
Bell 204
United Statesmarker
troop transport
Bell 204B
5
4
MBB Bo 105
Germanymarker
SAR missions
NBO-105 CB
NBO-105 CBS
6
1
6
1
Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma
Francemarker
SAR missions/troop transport
VIP transport


NAS-332 Super Puma
NAS-332 Super Puma VVIP
7
2
7
2
7
†A total of 16 has been ordered since 1998
total
63
58
7
No
Name
From
To
1 Soerjadi Soerjadarma 9 April 1946 19 January 1962
2 Omar Dani 19 January 1962 24 November 1965
3 Sri Mulyono Herlambang 27 November 1965 31 March 1966
4 Roesmin Noerjadin 31 March 1966 10 November 1969
5 Soewoto Sukendar 10 November 1969 28 March 1973
6 Saleh Basarah 28 March 1973 4 June 1977
7 Ashadi Tjahyadi 4 June 1977 26 November 1982
8 Soekardi 26 November 1982 11 April 1986
9 Oetomo 11 April 1986 1 March 1990
10 Siboen Dipoatmodjo 1 March 1990 23 March 1993
11 Rilo Pambudi 23 March 1993 15 March 1996
12 Sutria Tubagus 15 March 1996 3 July 1998
13 Hanafie Asnan 3 July 1998 25 April 2002
14 Chappy Hakim 25 April 2002 23 February 2005
15 Djoko Suyanto 23 February 2005 13 February 2006
16 Herman Prayitno 13 February 2006 28 December 2007
17 Subandrio 28 December 2007 7 November 2009
18 Marshal Imam Sufaat 7 November 2009 present

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